At Dragonfly Martial Arts, life skills are an important aspect of everything we do. This week, we are discussing Strangers, and some tools you can use to help keep your family safe. A Stranger is defined as somebody you don’t know. We come across many strangers in our day to day activities, and identifying those who are good vs those who are bad can help to avoid future problems before they ever become one.
Stranger awareness can provide children with the tools to be safe if faced with a potential abduction. The key is to teach children to be careful, not afraid if approached by a stranger. This enables them to make good choices if faced with this. Children should always stay with the adult that they are with when in public. A stranger is less likely to approach a child in the company of an adult. Children should keep a safe distance of approximately six feet or “two adult arms lengths” from a stranger if approached. At this distance it is difficult for a stranger to grab them and take them away. Children should never talk to strangers when alone. If approached, they should run away yelling “stranger!” and run to the nearest safe place.
As a student, it is important to know that some strangers are very bad people because they want to take you away from your family. Never listen to a stranger, especially if you find yourself alone with them. Strangers will say things like “I have videos games, candy or toys in my car. If you come to my car you can have them.” They’ll even say something awful like “Your parents were in a car accident and I’m going to take you to the hospital to see them.” They are trying to trick you to get you to their car so they can take you away.
Anytime you’re outside of your house, stay with the adult that you’re with. If you’re out with your parents, stay with them. If you’re on a class field trip, stay with your teachers. As long as you stay with the adult that you’re with, a stranger cannot take you away. You should never talk to strangers. It they approach you, run to the nearest safe place while yelling “stranger” really loud. If you’re at the park, run to a big group of people. If you’re in front of your house, run back into your house. If you’re in a store, run to the cash register.
As a parent, we understand that stranger awareness is very sensitive issue for most parents because they don’t want to instill a sense of fear in their children. The key is to teach your children to be careful if faced with a potential stranger abduction. Ask them if they should be afraid to walk across the street or ride their bike? The answer should be “No.” Should they be careful? Yes. So should they be afraid of strangers? No. But should they be careful? Yes. Teaching your children to be careful in any situation, especially with strangers, enables them to make good choices and helps to insure their safety.
Stranger awareness training is the key to providing your children with the tools to help protect them. Be proactive by talking about it, taking a workshop on stranger awareness, and practicing what to do with them regularly.