Parents are worried about the children. Who can blame them? Everytime you turn on cable news there is at least one story of a child being abducted, hurt or abused by someone, and this leads to fear and worry. Parents often wonder what they should tell their children because they don't want to tell them too much, and they certainly don't want to rob them of their innocence. What is a parent to do?
The first thing to do is to stop worrying! Being an information junky is too easy these days with internet access and news headlines being sent automatically to your personal devices. Try to control the amount of news you allow into your life because each time you watch the news, it leaves you feeling pretty scared about the state of child safety. Realize that not everyone out in the world intends to harm your children. In fact, the number of child predators is relatively small compared to the world's population.
Secondly, discover the best method for teaching your kids about child safety. The method of stranger danger is so outdated and moldy because it really doesn't go far enough when helping our kids understand who is good and who is bad. When teaching your children about strangers, it is important they don't believe everyone is bad. When kids believe everyone is bad it produces anxiety, and when they really need help, kids are not sure who they can go to.
For example, imagine your child is at the park in your neighborhood when a man begins talking to him/her about helping him find a puppy. Recognizing this as a trick or lure, your child decides to run away and try to get home. The predator who is attempting to lure him away begins to give chase. As your child is running he sees a man raking his leaves, a postal worker on his route, and a man walking a dog. Your house is a quarter mile away, so who do you want your child to get help from?
When you tell your kids not to talk to strangers, you effectively rob him of getting help from people all around him. Would your child approach any of these people for help. It depends solely on how you have taught your children to deal with safety issues.
The three easy things you can do to increase your child's safety are to talk to him about bad people and good people. Kids need to understand bad people cannot be recognized by how they look. Ask a child what their perception of a stranger is and you might be surprised at some of the wacky answers. Kids need to understand good people don't talk to kids when they are alone and potential bad people do.
An adult shouldn't ask children for help, offer them any presents (no matter how good it sounds), and a child should know they have permission to say no and get away from that person. Showing children the different lures is very beneficial because it helps them put things into perspective and gives them a sense of being there before.
Next, once a child knows about lures, he should be given a way to say no. In the ASSERT Super Kids workshop, we teach children to get into a defensive stance and use their voice loudly. The last thing a predator expects or wants is to have a child resist. This increases his chances of getting caught and he doesn't want this to happen.
Thirdly, allow your child an opportunity to practice recognizing a lure, getting loud and then running away. This helps them develop muscle memory so they can react on auto-pilot. Doing safety drills with your kids including these three elements will help them overcome the freezing effect, and allow them an opportunity to escape.
Most parents don't teach their children adequately and unnecessarily leave their kids open to an attack by a child predator. Following the simple process of tell-show-do will dramatically increase child safety, and give kids the upper hand if they should meet a dangerous person intending to do them harm.
Article Source: http://www.abcarticledirectory.com
Glen Evans is a police officer, firefighter and EMT. He created the ASSERT Super Kids program to help kids and parents learn the best techniques to increase child safety. He believes children can be incredibly safe when parents and teachers teach them correctly. More articles by Glen Evans can be found at child-safety-and-health-expert.com. A teaching DVD and manual can be found by going to DVD.assertkids.com
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