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Developing a Black Belt attitude: STRANGER DANGER

Here are a few important points to teach the kids:

  • A stranger is anyone that they do not know.

  • They should never ever go with a stranger no matter what the stranger says. Teach your child that strangers will sometimes make up stories about lost puppies or lollies but that, no matter what they say, kids should not go with them (‘no’ means ‘no’ always).

  • You will never send someone to pick them up that they have not met before.

  • They should play in groups and never walk home alone (strangers are much more likely to approach a child who is alone than one who is in a group).

Things to bear in mind:

  • Educate your child about stranger danger in an age-appropriate way. For example we can’t expect a three-year old to understand the subtleties of stranger danger. At this age it is enough to teach them to stay by your side when out and not to wander off. As your child gets older they can learn the difference between meeting someone new when Mum and Dad are present, and being approached by a stranger when they are alone.

  • Set good examples for your children, such as not opening the door without asking “Who’s there?”.

  • Tell your child to:

  • yell loudly “Stranger! Stranger! I don’t know you!” and run away if they are approached by someone they do not know

  • always tell you if someone has approached them (sometimes children believe they will get in trouble, assure them that this will not happen).

  • You can actively teach your child to recognise strangers by mixing in some photos you have cut out of magazines with photos of family members or close friends familiar to your child. Then go through the photos and ask your child to pick out the people they would and wouldn’t talk to. You will need to change the magazine cutouts each time so they do not become familiar to your child.

  • Above all else teaching your children about stranger danger is not a one-off lesson. It is a lesson that you and your child need to regularly revisit.

The aim of these guidelines is not to frighten our children or to make them scared of every new person they meet; rather it is to keep them safe from that tiny minority of adults who pose a risk to them.

Five simple self-defence rules for children

  • If in doubt, out, always trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

  • My safety first, their feelings second. It’s OK to be rude sometimes. Do what you have to and make yourself safe.

  • Don’t be fooled: adults don’t generally ask kids for help. They ask other adults for help.

  • If confronted, bolt and run. Follow these four steps: No, Go, Yell and Tell. Scream out “No!” Run as fast as you can toward people. Scream. Don’t keep what happened a secret, even if the attacker threatens to hurt someone else if you do.

  • If grabbed, stun and run. Never forget: No, Go, Yell and Tell.

What we tell the Mighty Mites

Q: What is a stranger?

A: Anyone that we do not know.

Q: Should you talk to anyone that you do not know?

A: No.

Q: If a stranger comes to you and says, “Your Mum and Dad sent me to pick you up. You need to come with me” or “I have a really cute puppy or some yummy lollies; come and see”. What do you say?

A: No.

Andy Sensei’s top 5 tips any parent can teach their child

Ages 4-8

  • No adult ever needs help from a child.

  • Stay close to your guardian (within eyesight).

  • If separated from your guardian look for a police officer, someone who works at a nearby shop or other authority figure.

  • Make sure you carry an identification card (i.e. Mum or Dad’s business card with a mobile phone number and your name).

  • If a stranger tries to hurt you, scream for help, kick, make a scene. Don’t stop!

Ages 8 and up

  • You have more freedom. You MUST be aware of your surroundings.

  • Listen to your intuition. If a situation seems wrong, it probably is.

  • Carry identification and enough money to get home.

  • Make sure someone knows your schedule, where you will be and when.

  • If you find yourself attacked for any reason, fight back with everything you have. Don’t stop!

Have a great week, everyone. See you in the dojo.

Robin & Corinne

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