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A few years ago, there was an attempted abduction of a 7-year-old girl named Britney Baxter. A man tried to take her in a Walmart store and she fought back and escaped.

Bravo for you Ms. Baxter! You are one brave girl.
This girl is very lucky. This story could have had a very different ending.

This girl is very lucky. This story could have had a very different ending.
Many parents are unsure how to address this topic with their children. After all, we don’t want our children fearing everyone do we?

Many parents are unsure how to address this topic with their children. After all, we don’t want our children fearing everyone do we?
At Samurai Karate Studio, I have taught stranger danger strategies to hundreds of kids and it is part of the curriculum at my karate school.

The one constant I have learned over the years, is you need to discuss these strategies OVER and OVER with your child until it really SINKS in.

And then teach it some MORE!

The Definition of a Stranger

I start off every stranger danger workshop with the definition of who a stranger is?
A stranger is simply “someone we don’t know”. Often times, parents try to explain what a stranger is in too complicated a way.

I try to keep it simple.

I then give examples of strangers:
A neighbor you have never met
A man or women at the store
A parent in the hallway of a school
A relative you have never met

The last one, a relative you have never met, is often overlooked.
Statistically, there is a higher rate of abduction with someone who knows the child, than a complete stranger.

Does that mean every family member is a risk. No, but in order to simplify what a stranger is, you have to include relatives your child has never met.

Of course, I emphasize that NOT all strangers are bad, in fact, most are good, but we practice to be CAUTIOUS, which is just a fancy grown up term that means we practice to be SAFE!

The Tricks

Once you have established the definition of a stranger, you need to review the typical “tricks” that a stranger will use to lure a child into their car.

All the while, I am constantly reinforcing that the children never get in a car with a stranger -EVER!

The most common lures are:
Offering a favorite candy
Offering toys
Offering DVD’s or video games
Asking for directions
Asking for help finding a lost puppy or kitten
Making up a story about a parent getting in an auto accident (especially at a school in a car rider line?)

Stranger Danger Defense

Now, I know what many of you are probably thinking!

I am a self-defense expert so I must be teaching these children some fancy self-defense techniques.
Sorry, but that is not the case.

Where the children are so young, it is unrealistic to think they are going to protect themselves like an older child, teen or adult. However, as the video demonstrates, screaming, kicking and squirming helped this girl escape.

So this is what I recommend you teach:

Yell — scream as loud as you can.

While I tell adults to yell fire (because people respond better to that word), I try to keep it simple for the kids.

Just tell them to yell and scream help as loud as they can.

Run — don’t try to engage the stranger, run away as fast as you can to a trusted adult or parent.

Tell — instruct your children to always tell you when approached by a stranger or if they ever feel uncomfortable because an adult touched them.

For those children enrolled in my karate school, we teach them how to stomp the toes, kick the shins, and punch if necessary. But the reality is, that should only be a last resort.

If anything, tell them to be like a cat.  (ever try to hold a cat that didn’t want to be held?)

The Bottom Line

The truth is, the best defense against your child being abducted is NEVER let them out of your sight.

As in the case of little Britney in the news, she wandered off into the next aisle looking at toys and was out of sight from her mom.

THE only way we can keep our children safe is to remain ever vigilant.

However, in the event they get temporarily separated from you, if you follow and practice these safety rules, there is a possibility your child could help save themselves. So start today using the outline described above and practice, practice and practice some more!

If you would like to attend our next stranger danger workshop, please send me your email and I will add you to our mailing list so you will know the next time I offer one.

Here’s the video that captured the attempted abduction:

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About The Author

samurai karate studio, chris feldt, Sensei Chris Feldt is the owner and chief instructor of Samurai Karate Studio, a leadership academy located in Northeast Columbia, South Carolina. His school teaches karate to children and adults ages 4 and up. SKS specializes in self-defense, anti-bullying, stranger danger and character and leadership development.

Mr. Feldt was an adjunct professor at the University of South Carolina for college credit in karate and self-defense.

Samurai Karate Studio has been recognized as a leader in martial arts instruction by being honored with the Best of Columbia Award for four consecutive years in a row.

Sensei Feldt has been a guest speaker in the Richland 2 School District covering school talks on stranger danger, anti-bullying strategies, kindness, and making good choices. He is available for both private and corporate self-defense seminars.

 

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