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Thread: "Teaching Young People to Protect Themselves"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Orlando, Florida
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    Default "Teaching Young People to Protect Themselves"

    I came across what I considered to be a pretty good article and decided to post it in honor of October being "National Crime Prevention Month."

    Unfortunately, crime is a reality. Anyone can be the victim of a crime. It could be a bully at school or something much more serious. In honor of National Crime Prevention Month, we are providing you tips on how to teach young people to be aware and to protect themselves. Information is provided by "Teaching Young People to Protect Themselves", from Keep something in mind; these tips are good regardless of how old you are.

    Talking about crime is a difficult subject for parents. You have to promote awareness without frightening. If you are frightened or feel helpless yourself, you run the risk of passing those feelings to children. You need to deal with your own anxiety before discussing crime prevention with children. Some things you can do include: improve home security, practice street smarts, and work with your neighbors. By doing this, you are not only showing awareness but that crime is a problem that can be prevented.

    Promoting a child’s self-esteem is one of the best steps an adult can take when opening the discussion of crime prevention. Show children that they are worthy of protection and that it starts inside. The most vulnerable children are those who appear lonely, unloved, or abandoned. The goal should be to help children develop self-protection skills they can use for life; no matter who is threatening them.

    1. Teaching children self-protective skills is a life-long task. Children can not absorb these lessons in one or two sittings. It takes constant reminders.

    2. Make sure your talk is geared to the child’s age. Use words and concepts they can understand.
    3. Never give safety rules you don’t follow yourself.

    "Don’t talk to strangers" is a warning almost all parents give their children. In reality, adults talk to strangers all the time – while standing in line, at social gatherings, etc. Instead of "Don’t talk to strangers" instill the lesson of not getting into a car with or take candy or anything else from a stranger.

    b. Children learn from actions.

    c. Don’t jaywalk.

    d. Pay special attention to pre-teens and teens. They may be more interested in showing independence than following common sense.

    4. Don’t just talk – listen. Let children express fears freely. Pay attention to the questions they ask. Answer truthfully. Keep in mind that child’s fantasies about current crimes can sometimes be worse than reality. Make sure you understand what the child is saying… that is not always easy because they may confuse or not know the right words.

    5. Discuss what children see on TV, in the movies, and in video games. Children, pre-schoolers in particular, have a difficult time distinguishing between reality and images they see on TV or in films.

    6. Don’t use threats of calling the police to scare children into good behavior. Children who are threatened that the police will put them in jail if they misbehave are likely to fear the police. This results in a child not going to the police in an emergency.

    7. Expect children to break the rules. It is very important that parents and adults make sure children feel comfortable enough to admit when they have broken a rule. For example: a child has been told not to take a short-cut home because it’s not safe. The child takes the short-cut and loses his backpack to a couple of bullies. Parents need to reign in their anger when a child has put themselves in danger by breaking rules. The subject and safety reasons need to be talked about and punishment needs to be appropriate. Above all, the child needs to understand why what they did was wrong and how it put them in danger.

    Teaching self-protection skills is more than "self defense" classes like karate. It is teaching children to trust their instincts
    Last edited by Rob Broad; 10-06-2006 at 02:17 PM.
    "It is sobering to reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for independence." Charles A. Beard

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    John M. La Tourrette (04-18-2007)

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Sarnia, ON, Canada
    Thanked 1,263 Times in 801 Posts

    Default Re: "Teaching Young People to Protect Themselves"

    Good article. I tweaked the size of the font so it was easier to read.
    Quality outweighs quantity every time.

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