How to Teach Your Child Basic Self-Defense Skills

Provide your child with basic self-defense skills. This is important not only for maintaining your child’s self-con­fidence and self-esteem, but also for insuring your child’s life.

In our society today, children need to have a defen­sive strategy for resisting drug dealers, abusers, cult-ists, and kidnappers.

Drug dealers, or any persons who attempt to seduce your child into trying alcohol, cigarettes, pills, or other chemicals, must be shunned.

Abusers inflict sexual, physical, or emotional injury. If a person is consistently attempting to exert power over your child (the person’s behavior may be causing a change in your child’s personality), your child is experi­encing a serious form of abuse.

This is not to say that parents who punish their chil­dren for misbehavior are abusers. A spanking may “hurt” a child, but that is a physical hurt that goes away quickly and can and should be compensated with an equal dose of love and tenderness. Abuse never has a good excuse and never a legitimate cause.

Cultists may attempt to woo your child into a secret or exclusive group, from which you, the parent, are barred. Most cults offer young people acceptance into a group that asks the son or daughter to reject parents, lie to them, or overtly rebel against them.

Kidnappers attempt to abduct your child or keep your child from getting home to you. It’s no longer enough to teach your child never to talk to strangers. Statistics show that the person most likely to do physi­cal or emotional harm to children is an adult that the children know, even love.

Talk to your children about the tactics that a potential kidnapper or abuser may use. In most cases, the initial approach will be a friendly one. Often, your child will be offered something fun, exciting, or appealing.

Teach your child specific times to say no.

  • if someone your child doesn’t know offers him or her anything to eat or smoke.
  • if someone offers your child any type of pill.
  • if someone your child doesn’t know well offers a ride home.
  • if someone touches your child on any part of the body that is considered “private.”
  • if someone tells your child not to show or tell you something, no matter what the reason or the se­cret.

Beyond “just say no” your child needs to be taught to take two additional steps:

One. “Run away as fast as you can.” Teach your child not to negotiate, discuss, or argue with a person who offers gifts or makes advances!

Two. “Come tell me what has happened and tell me immediately—no matter what the other person says or threatens.” Assure your child that a threat the other person may have made is not a good enough excuse to keep from telling you what has happened.

Above all, establish a relationship with your child in which he or she can always come to you with a ques­tion, a hurt, or a concern. When your child does come, always assume that what you hear is the truth.

Don’t dismiss your child’s hurts, concerns, or ques­tions. Say to your child, “What that person said or did is not acceptable. I’m angry that this has happened to you. I’m glad you told me about it.” Say it with a hug.

If a child tells you that he or she has been abused by a person, by all means don’t allow that child to be with that person until you’ve sorted out the full extent of the abuse and the abuser has been confronted. (In many cases, you’ll want to call authorities to do the con­fronting!)

Talk to your child about drugs, explaining the differ­ence between the terms drugs and medicines.

Talk to your child about the dangers of child abuse and of your child’s right to be treated with respect by adults.

Your child should be able to cope with these topics if you couch your discussion in terms of your love and desire to see him or her protected and safe.

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About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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