It's great being a kid. There are so many new things to learn, new friends to make and loads of fun games and places to play.
Unfortunately, due to children's innocence, some adults can prey on this. We definitely don't want to scare children but we do want to teach them some strategies to use if they are ever scared or in a situation that makes them feel uncomfortable. We do this by teaching them Krav Maga self defence techniques, give them tips and tricks to make them safer and talk to them about people they trust and can talk to. Parents are encouraged to talk to their kids about various topics as we go through the classes too.
We have found that children pick up and learn the techniques and tips we teach very quickly. They listen to their gut instinct so much better than adults. It's very easy to underestimate them.
So often I hear parents say ' they're just kids, they don't need to know that' when discussing 'bad people' in our society but to be honest I think that it is negligent not to. Obviously you don't need to go into great detail about various situations, everything must be age appropriate. But its important to make kids aware that not everyone is their friend.
Please have a look at the clip on our Classes page (and there any many many other clips like it). Education is the key. It's not enough to tell your child once about strangers - you have to reiterate it regularly. We run scenario training in our classes that covers this situation and many other ruses used by predators.
THE TOP 5 PEOPLE YOU TRUST
This Top 5 will be different for everyone. The most appropriate person to go to for help will be also be different in different situations. So here are a few ideas to get you started. We could easily have added many more. Working out who you would turn to is something that you should definitely talk to your parents about which brings us to the first item on our list!
1. Parents Mum, Dad, step parents, foster carers, even grandparents - every family is different. Here we’re talking about the people who tuck you into bed at night, make your lunch for school, and nag you to brush your teeth or tidy your room. They look after you every day and if you ever feel worried, unsafe, or unsure about something, you should always talk to them about it.
2. Emergency Services (Police, Fire Fighters, Paramedics/Ambulance Drivers) These are the people we call for help in an emergency. They wear uniforms and drive cars that we’re all familiar with so they are easy to spot. It is their job to look after people who need it, so they definitely make it onto our list! If for any reason you need help and your parents aren’t nearby, Emergency Services workers will be able to help.
3. Teachers If anything happens at or near your school, and you need to tell an adult about it, the teachers are a good choice. Your safety is important to them and they’ll do what they can to help you out. Of course, don’t forget to tell your parents about it when you get home as well!
4. Doctor Your family doctor is another adult that you can trust. It is his or her job to make sure that you are safe and well. They deal with all sorts of different situations every day so there is never any reason to be embarrassed or afraid to talk to them.
5. Family Friends These could be friends of your parents, or your friend’s mum or dad. They are adults that you know well, and who know you well. Trust with these people is built up over time, so you’ve probably known them for a while.
Your list might include other people such as extended family (uncles and aunts, etc), sports coaches, activity leaders, dance instructors, local shopkeepers, librarians, or community groups. Anyone that you and your parents agree is safe and trustworthy can be on your list!
Always remember, that in an emergency, if there isn’t an adult nearby who can help you, you should always phone 000.
If it isn’t an emergency but you don’t feel comfortable talking to anyone on this list, you can call the kid’s helpline on 1800 55 1800.
A WORD ON STRANGER DANGER
Making children aware of Stranger Danger is a good thing however sometimes there may only be a stranger around that they can go to for help. Who are safer strangers? They are people who you may not know personally but that your child can trust to help them. These people can include:
Please keep this in mind when talking to your children. Not all strangers are 'bad' people.