We will be covering “Street Smart Self Defense” in our classes this month. There are a variety of topics to discuss; some will be done this month and some in the near future. In order for the material to be more effectively learned, we would like to make sure that you are working with us, and are aware of the discussions and advice we are giving the students.
Please remember that with younger children, we will be working on developing safe habits and skills. Studies prove that this, along with a few verbal/awareness skills, will keep most children safe. The use of physical self-defense is needed when these safeguards have failed. Most young children do not have the strength to fight off an adult attacker, so lets make sure they never have to try.
Please note that some of the following is age specific. (Some students obvious know this information and for some it is not yet applicable) Use the list in relationship to your child’s age.
- Your child should know their address (town and state) and phone number.
- Your full name and where you work, cell phone.
We will be teaching the students about strangers and who to avoid. They also need to know that most stranger are good and may be needed to help them if they are lost, hurt etc. We need to teach our children to be good decision makers. (A life skill)
- Be sure your child always knows where to meet you if lost in a store, park etc.
- Be sure you child knows who is allowed to pick them up from school. If an adult is not on that list and tries to pick up your child, your child should know it is okay to say “No” even to an adult.
- Again, your child needs to know that it is okay to say “No” to an adult. This is their number one self-defense.
- Tell your child that you love them! Many abductors and molesters will tell the child that the parent no longer loves them. Let them know you will always love them. Don’t assume this! Words are powerful and need to be spoken!
- Review the following list of potentially helpful strangers:
- Someone who looks like a grandma
- A woman with children
- A woman
- A man in a uniform working
- A man working
Statistically this information will help your child make a good decision. Younger children do not need explanations of why a grandma is safer than a man working. Just give them what they need.
Things you should know/do
- Know what your child is wearing each day
- Have a clear and current picture available
- Keep the child’s fingerprints in a safe place.
- Know their friends, have a list of them with addresses and phone numbers.
- Description of your child, including weight, height, scars etc
- Make sure your child knows who is acceptable to be with, pick them up etc. Do not make exceptions, even safe ones.. In other words, don’t send a friend to pick up your child and fail to inform your child. Sending mixed messages will make it harder for them to develop habits or trust the validity of your advice
- For children who use the internet/have cell phones/etc
Be sure they do not give away personal information
Monitor and check your child’s usage- do not spy.. let them know what you are doing and make it known from the moment they start that you will be supervising their usage. Be clear about your expectations, inspect what you expect- no exceptions.
Do not allow your older children with Facebook to be communicating every detail about their whereabouts, emotional state … this is not only dangerous to the whole family, but it teaches children that nothing is private or personal. They are learning to collapse safety boundaries. This will create a bad habit later in relationships.
Children (anyone not independently living on their own) should not have accounts, websites, etc that you do not have access to at all times. You can decide how to respect their privacy, but in an emergency or to prevent one, you need to have access and monitor these activities. They don’t have to like it.
Finally, we will cover issues like what to do when lost, techniques used to lure children away, and finally how and when it is appropriate to use your physical skills. Remember that children who are confident, secure, and willing to be courageous in life are less likely to be chosen as a victim. Participating in karate classes works on these skills all the time- testing for a stripe, trying a new technique, performing at graduation, competing in a tournament. Please feel free to ask questions.