Helping you keep your child safe is one of the most important things we do at Ohana Karate. Living your life without fear, and protecting yourself and others, have been the foundation of the martial arts since the very beginning.
We will be revisiting a series of very effective lessons we have used in the past to keep your child safe from child predators. In this program we teach our young students the ten common “tricks” child predators use on children.
This week we cover the first of ten, and probably one of the most often used – “The Helpless”. By arming you with information and educating you on this common trick you can not only help us teach this to your child but also be able to properly answer their questions.
First a few preliminary teaching principles:
use the word “Stranger” with your children. The sad fact is your child is far more likely to be harmed or abducted by a relative, family friend, or trusted adult than a stranger.
Do not make your child scared of the world or paranoid. Use this phrase: “Most people are very nice, but there are just a few that might try to trick you. But you know how not to be tricked, right?”
teach your child to listen to and trust their intuition. When you feel something is wrong you are almost always right. Most kids and adults in a self defense situation get into trouble because they do not trust their intuition. For example, when the person is nicely dressed, known, or if they are in a uniform.
Teach your child to ever “go with another adult without my parent’s permission”.Even if they threaten you or your family, and even if they are armed with a weapon.Do not go.Ever!
Now how we teach our students about “The Helpless”:
“Who in here likes to help people?We all do don’t we?Well while most adults are good people there just might be few that might try to trick you but you won’t be tricked, will you?Today we will learn how not to be tricked by the person we will call “The Helpless”.
This person will take advantage of our nature to help others.Everyone like to help everyone.This person will try to trick you by pretending they need your help.Examples include: “Could you help me find my puppy?”“My arm is in a sling, could you help me carry these bags to my car?”“Can you tell me where the post office is?”
What to do:
First, trust your intuition.Be polite but strong.The second you feel uncomfortable or that something is wrong - !When you run the most effective thing you can yell is “No, Stop, You are not my Father/Mother!” then keep yelling this.(The reason is most people will hesitate helping a child if they think they are just having a tantrum or making a fuss with their parents but the second you say “You are not my father!” adults will instantly know you are in trouble.)
Second, the most important element of self defense is “distance”.Do not let anyone within three huge paces from you until you are sure you are safe.Do anything you have to in order to keep at least that three pace distance.
Third, just teach your child to remember this simple principle – “Adults should never ask a child for help.Adults should only ask adults for help!”So if you are not sure about an adult asking you for help just be polite but strong and say “I am sorry Sir.I would like to help you but I am not allowed to help an adult without asking my mom or dad first!” (*This is initially very difficult for most children because they are taught to never say “no” to adults.We need to teach them the ability courage to say NO to an adult when they feel something is wrong.)
If the adult is a good person they will either understand or ask if you want to ask your parents.If they are an adult trying to trick you they will try to talk you out of it or realize you know their trick.
Again, the second you feel unsafe or uncomfortable – RUN.If you cannot run then use the verbal self defense you have been taught previously “No, Stop, Back Away You Are Too Close!”Also remember to yell “No, Stop, You are not my father!” when you run to get the attention of others.
So I hope this guide helps you teach your child to be safe as you watch our lesson on “The Helpless” this week.
You cannot always be there to protect your child. But one of the greatest feelings you can have as a parent is the peace of mind that your child can protect themselves.
‘Till next time!
Yours for Rock Solid (and safe) Kids,