Tips to Help Prevent Kidnapping

Mar 1 08:54 2010 Eric Davis Print This Article

Last month a mother was surprised to be reunited with her daughter. Twenty years before, the child had been kidnapped. Throughout the world, there are many similar cases. It is more than difficult to accept that these events are not rare. It is in our best interest, however, to prepare for the ‘worst case’ scenarios and develop safe habits.

A mother was recently stunned to be reunited with her daughter. Twenty years before,Guest Posting the child had been kidnapped. Throughout the world, there are many similar cases. For a parent, it is ghastly to imagine we live in a time where these things occur. However, one of the ways we best protect ourselves and our children is to prepare for the worst and live within guidelines designed to contribute to that safety.

A SEDUCTIVE FALSEHOOD A dangerous lie is a lie you want to be true. These are lies that you believe because the truth would be uncomfortable. “Just go along with me, and you’ll be okay,” is a falsehood as aged as the first liar. No one wants to get hurt, so they cling to the hope that compliance is a way to escape harm. This is very similar to adults that refuse to allow themselves to consider that their children might need to know what to do if they are grabbed. It is a parent’s worst nightmare to think their child could be taken.

PREPARED, NOT AFRAID The first step towards helping your child stay safe is to realize that people who prey on children are looking for easy targets. Teach children how to be a difficult target and how to respond in an emergency. Rather than traumatizing a child, these measures can give the child the confidence he or she needs to act quickly in an emergency and AVOID danger.

FIND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES Take the time to speak with your child about the definition of a stranger. Seize opportunities at home and while running errands to remind your child what he has learned.

• Show your child how to find a stranger that he can trust in an emergency. • Play a game with your child to help him remember who is a stranger. Discuss the fact that strangers aren’t always scary-looking, creepy, or old. Sometimes bigger children will victimize smaller children. • Identify safe places a child could run to if they need help: stores, restaurants, homes of friends or family members, libraries, community centers, local police stations, etc. • Take your child people-watching and discuss the difference between someone who is polite and someone that is overly friendly. Help them identify when someone is ‘too’ nice or eerily perfect.

THINGS YOUR CHILD NEEDS TO KNOW • Someone your child doesn’t know is a stranger. • They should never go with someone they do not know (not even walking in the same direction), even if they seem nice. • Strangers may attempt to lure a child into a house, building or car using toys or treats. An abductor may even know the child’s name, but a child should be trained to never go willingly even if offered these enticements. The child should run for help and yell “NO!” • If you are endangered, it’s okay to strike out and hurt an adult. A child should be made to understand that it’s not a bad or rude thing to run away and get help. • A child should never help adults who claim to be in trouble and in need of assistance. Instead, teach your child to shout, “NO!” and run for help. An adult in need should seek another adult. An adult has no business asking someone else’s child for help.

Avoid suspicious scenarios such as: • A person holding a leash and asking for help finding a lost puppy. • Someone needing directions. • People urging children to help with stalled automobiles. • Anyone who asks a child to enter a car or house to help locate something.

Implement these as soon as possible: • Consider using a secret word so that a child knows you sent a trusted adult. If the person knows the child, but not the secret password, the child shouldn’t cooperate. For further safety, change the word regularly. • Don’t fail to let your child know ahead of time when another person will be giving them a ride and who that person is. • Make it a rule that your child will not accept a gift from someone they don’t know – especially when his parents aren’t present. Anything offered when parents are not there should be refused. A predator can use gifts as bait. Candies can be laced with drugs or harmful agents placed in gifts. • Children should trust their sense of danger. If a situation makes a child feel threatened tell him to run. Tell them to run for help if they feel frightened. Escaping quickly to a safe place, a child should then find a trusted adult and ASK THAT PERSON TO HELP. • It is more important to be safe than it is to be polite. It’s better safe than sorry. • When dealing with a stranger that is threatening, remember the three R’s: Recognize, Respond and Report.

MAKE LEARNING FUN • Act as though you are a stranger looking for a lost pet or pretend to be someone that needs directions. • Demonstrate for your child how he can position himself just beyond the arm’s reach of a stranger. • Practice running away for times when a stranger gets too close or grabs another child. Explain to your child the importance of getting help right away rather than staying there when another child Is grabbed. • Practice with your child the art of yelling and screaming to attract attention. • Teach your child to flail and kick well enough to break an abductor’s grip. • Demonstrate for your child how to use their fingers to claw at an abductor’s nose, ears, eyes or mouth.

TEACH CHILDREN TO BE A DIFFICULT TARGET • Train your children to remain in a group and look out for others. • Remind your child that he should never go with someone that invites them to leave the group. • When playing, your child should be in a group or with a safe buddy. • Before a child leaves your home (or wherever you sent him), require that he check first with you. • Plan a neighborhood meeting to share these tips with other parents.

By incorporating these guidelines as part of your normal routine, your child should not become afraid. Rather than something extra, a child can learn these things in much the same way as he learns to brush his teeth, wear a seatbelt and check for traffic at an intersection: as a means to insure his well-being.

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Eric Davis
Eric Davis

For more helpful tips like this, visit No Greater Joy - a ministry dedicated to sharing the principles of wholesome child training tips and joyful family relationships.

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