Protect Your Kids from Abduction!

With the disappearance of little Kyron and so many other children, we felt it was time to write about this. Sadly, no one knows what happened to Kyron but his disappearance has brought up a lot of discussion amongst parents regarding the issues of strangers and abduction. Most of us were brought up with the term “stranger danger” (basically, don’t talk to strangers) which, as we reassess it – taught us no actual safety skills.

“Stranger Danger” Myth Disbanded

The reality is that 90% of the time a child is harmed, it is by someone they know, and usually, love and trust. As we teach both children and parents about personal safety – we present reasons why we disband the myth of “stranger danger.” 1) We cannot model “don’t talk to strangers” because adults need to talk to strangers everyday to function in the world. Children learn what we do, not what we say. 2) If your child gets separated from you they will need to seek help from a stranger. We want children to have the knowledge and confidence to handle this potentially frightening and stressful “what if” situation. Do you know what you should teach your child to do if they get separated from you? They should approach a mom with children, because a mom will stay with your child until you are reunited – and trust me, they don’t want another child to take home with them. Don’t tell your child to look for a security guard or store worker because they are hard to find sometimes and can’t leave their post to stay with your child. 3) We teach children, parents and teachers that, instead of teaching our children to fear strangers, they should instead be on the lookout for certain behaviors, situations and actions rather than what someone looks like. You cannot tell what is in a person’s heart by the way they look on the outside.

What Makes the News

It seems more parents are more concerned with “stranger danger” than ever before. Why? Because when a child is harmed by someone they know, it rarely makes the news. When a child is abducted by a stranger, it makes the front page. Although, statistically speaking, abduction by a stranger is much less prevalent than abduction from someone familiar, we wanted to give moms concrete skills you can teach your child to be safe from stranger abduction.

The 5 Step Back Rule

Teach your child the 5 step back rule. When they are playing outside and a car or person comes by, they should automatically take 5 steps back. We teach children in our KidSafe program to pay attention to their surroundings and their personal space. A person that wants to do harm to your child is looking for an easy “target,” not a child that has been taught personal safety. Just by your child taking 5 steps back and not approaching a car when asked – your child is now a “difficult” target.

They Can Say “No!”

Teach your child that they have rights! They have the right to say NO to an adult they do not know. So when an adult in a car wants to ask them something they should yell “NO!” and run to go tell a trusted adult. Teach your child that adults they do not know should not be asking children for help (can you help me find my puppy? Can you help me with directions?) They should be asking other adults for help. Children understand this concept – and understand that it is okay in certain situations to NOT be polite. Their personal safety comes first.

The Importance of Role Play

We teach these skills through role play. But at the end of the day, the best way for your child to be safe is for you to watch them, model safe choice making, role play with them and be there to talk to them about anything.

Press Inquiries or to Join the Conversation:

Kid Safe Foundation
sallyb@kidsafefoundation.org
Twitter.com/kidsafemoms
Facebook.com @ KidSafeFoundation

Testimonials

"Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be included in the KidSafe program. I highly recommend this program to other schools. We hope that we will be given the same opportunity for our Kindergarten and 2nd grade students to be a part of this wonderful program during the 2016-2017 school year."

Mrs. Keelyn Meselsohn 2nd Grade Teacher/Team Leader Tradewinds Elementary School

"The Safe and Smart Series Book My Body Is Special and Belongs To Me is kept in my middle school clinic and has been a tool that has opened many conversations for me between students that have experienced a difficult situation and were unable to talk about it. Through the illustrations and nonjudgmental verbiage the author has allowed kids permission to share their feelings about invasion of their personal space. Thank you so much."

Nurse Connie, PBC School Nurse 6.8.2016

"I'm so grateful that KidSafe has partnered with my daughter's school.  I learned so much in the parent training--how to recognize potential sexual predator behavior; how to quiz my child about what they would do in different scenarios; and how to explain safe and unsafe touch.  In addition, knowing that my daughter is receiving weekly trainings on these topics gives me great peace of mind.  I have confidence that I can reinforce what she is learning in school in order to prevent her from ever being a victim of such a heinous crime.  Thank you KidSafe for your dedication to protecting our communities' most vulnerable citizens."

Christina Kranick

“It was a normal Saturday and I was at the rink with my 7 and 8 year old. My son asked me if he could use the Men’s Restroom by himself.  Without hesitation, my daughter said,  Absolutely not! I was in KidSafe today and you cannot go to the restroom alone.  It is very important that Mommy is with you.. with us.   I was so proud of my little girl!  We are so blessed to have Debbie Miller at our school teaching our children the importance of safety. Many thanks to you all!  Your program and instruction is absolutely amazing.  Keep up the great work!"  

Tara Henley Admissions Assistant, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and School, Ft. Lauderdale

I am a parent of two Pine Crest children and I attended your program on Monday night. I just wanted to thank you so very much for the very informative seminar. As hard as it was to hear all of those things, it was very needed. We were thrilled that you were able to come and share that very important information with us and our children. So again...thank you.

Elisa Aronberg

Today’s training was awesome! It was very informative. Sally was a very good resource, she motivated us a lot! We want to pass on this information to parents, teachers and students! Thank you for offering workshops like this. These are tools we use to continue serving our children and families.

Participant from Children’s Services Council of Broward Seminar

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