Strangers and What Your Kids Should Know

What is a stranger?

The other day, a story came out from Texas of an 11 year old boy who helped foil an abduction. TJ Smith alerted a neighbor when he saw a 7 year old girl being abducted. They chased after the stranger and were able to detain him until police arrived.

Coincidentally, Stranger Awareness has been our theme in class this week. We’ve been talking about strangers that kids can turn to (like store clerks when they are lost) and strangers to avoid. On Facebook and YouTube, I issued a challenge to parents:

Stranger-awareness-martial-arts-karate-winder-ga-barrowAsk your children 2 questions…

  1. What is a “stranger”?
  2. What does a stranger look like?

As I said in the videos, the answer may surprise you.

Because most kids describe someone who looks like the Hannah-Barbera cartoon character, Dick Dastardly.

But “bad strangers” do their best to look just like everyone else.

No cloaks, striped shirts, or shifty eyes. These are all descriptions my students used this week when I asked them those same two questions. So we spent time in class talking about how “bad strangers” act and the tricks they may use.

It is so important that kids learn to distinguish between appearance and behavior.

Tips for working with your children

Below are the three videos I made this week discussing the things we talked about in class. The parent challenge I mentioned before, tips for parents to help their kids if they are confronted with a stranger, and a real life near-encounter I had when I was a pre-teen.

I absolutely believe that parents need to discuss these topics regularly with their children. Our goal should not be to scare kids, but to teach them caution and discretion; to let them know who to turn to in an emergency; and that they have the right and power to protect themselves.

Self-defense confidence self-esteem martial arts karate Master Pattillo Martial Arts Winder GA BarrowMatt Pattillo is a fifth degree black belt, master instructor and owner of Master Pattillo Martial Arts, Inc. which operates in Winder, GA (Barrow County). Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

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