How many times have you seen a childbeing dragged along by the mother or being dragged along by the mother or father, hysterically screaming they ‘don’t want to go’?
How many have you as a parent given those words a second thought? Or, if that was my child, I would….
Most people have become insensitive to children crying and refusing to go somewhere at some time. Yet, this scenario could very possibly be an abduction attempt. So how could a child survive a kidnapping, lacking a natural instinct to escape a stranger?
In our Kung Fu Child Development program, we teach students five years and older that if ever encountered by a stranger, yell out: ‘This is not my mom or dad!’ This is a stranger,’ as loud as they can.
A child not educated in ‘Stranger Danger’ will go wherever they believe there is an appealing attraction: — a puppy, a toy or candy. Predators understand that instinctual motivation and act upon it to abduct an innocent child.
I can still remember as an elementary school student drills to prepare for a nuclear attack by hiding beneath a desk and covering heads. Younger readers have no idea of what I’m talking about but I’m sure most adults can relate to a similar practice, the fire drill.
In our Kung Fu Kids class, Stranger Danger drills are as common as kicking and punching. Instructors constantly confront students with phrases such as
‘What’s a stranger?’
Students chant back: ‘A person that you do not know sir!’
‘Do you talk to strangers?
Answer: ‘No, sir!’
Through such role playing and lectures, we teach students to recognize strangers and how to avoid them. As a former Law Enforcement Officer and certified National Security Alliance Child Safe Network instructor, as well as a Martial Arts educator, I’m amazed to see how many children remain prime abcution candidates.
The most important thing to teach your child is to say ‘no’ to an adult. Trusting children to their own instincts is dangerous.
So this year, especially before the holidays, empower ‘your own’ by teaching them to say ‘no’ and practice your own Stranger Danger drills.
Julio Anta has been changing lives in Doral through his martial arts and fitness programs since 1998. You can reach him at 305 599-3649 or via the Internet at www.AntaMartialArts.com