Self Defense Techniques for Young Children

From a very young age, kids may be in dangerous situations without realizing it. At such a tender age, kids are often naive to the risks of being assaulted or harmed, especially by adults. Children may be bullied by larger kids, kidnapped, robbed, or assaulted. How do you prepare your children for such scenarios without scaring them? Countless parents are wondering exactly that. Here are a few techniques for keeping your children safe:

Teach them safety basics. As early as possible, teach kids their phone number and address so that they can reunite with you quickly if ever separated. Your children should also have access to your work phone numbers and know how to reach you at all times. They should also know how to dial 911, and how to seek out a trustworthy adult if they need help in a shopping center or other public place. These basics will enable your children to contact the proper adults when they need to.

Teach them how to identify dangers and how to react. It is important for your children to be able to recognize potentially dangerous situations, such as a stranger trying to lure them away from their parents. Children must also be taught about appropriate touching. Work to improve your child's ability to observe and understand the things going on around them. Teach your child to run away from strangers who approach them.

Teach them who to trust. Young children are often confused by instructions to avoid all strangers, but to find an adult if they need help. Instruct your children about the types of adults they can trust, such as police officers in uniforms. Many parents also teach their kids to approach mothers with children, because they believe that moms will be safe strangers and sympathetic to the child's plight.

Give your child ways to fight back. In addition to running away from a possible danger, tell them to scream at the top of their lungs to get an adult's attention. There are also personal alarms, shaped like child-friendly animals, designed to help kids get the attention of adults in an emergency situation. Older children and teens may be responsible enough to carry pepper spray or similar self defense devices. Children are often taught that adults are authority figures who must be followed, but if you want to keep your child safe from the dangers posed by strangers, you must teach them when it's okay to not follow an adult's directions.

Children are often very unaware of the potential for danger. Unfortunately, parents must prepare their kids to protect themselves. When it comes to self defense and your children, your methods should be tailored to your child's age and level of understanding. While all children should know that there are dangerous people in the world, many parents wish to protect them from this knowledge as long as possible. Still, it is important to give your child the tools he or she needs to stay safe from harm.

By James Shaw

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