Because kids are so small and vulnerable, it’s important that parents and guardians teach them how to keep themselves safe when a trusted adult isn’t around to help. Not only should you teach your kids how to defend themselves against bullies or other children who might want to cause them harm, but you should also help your children know what to do if they encounter an adult who may seek to take advantage of them.
While you can protect yourself with weapons or other tools, children don’t have the same access to these things. So to help your child work with what they have, here are three tips for teaching your kids about self defense.
Teach Your Child To Be Assertive
If your child is going to need to protect themselves, chances are that it will be a bully or a peer that they’ll be in confrontation with. In a situation like this, it can be very helpful for them to know how to be assertive and avoid getting into a physical altercation.
According to Signe Whitson, a contributor to Psychology Today, your child can be verbally assertive by using clear, direct, and unemotional language to respond to a bully. This will show to the bully that your child isn’t scared and that the bully doesn’t have control over them, which will often make a bully redirect their efforts elsewhere. Additionally, your child should try to be physically assertive by maintaining eye contact, keeping their voice calm, and using the bully’s name in their communication.
Draw Attention To The Situation
If your child is ever being physically assaulted or is afraid that they’re going to get hurt, Sherri Gordon, a contributor to Very Well Family, shares that the best thing you can teach your child to do is to draw attention to themselves and the situation they’re in.
Doing things like shouting, yelling, and screaming can all help to draw attention to what’s going on and scare off their attacker. Additionally, if someone is trying to take your child by force, you should teach your child that they should do whatever they can to get away, including hurting the person who’s trying to take them.
Know How To Protect Their Bodies
In a situation where your child is needing to protect themselves physically from a bully or someone that’s trying to hurt them without threat of kidnapping, there are some specific things your child can do to keep damage to a minimum.
According to Patrick A. Coleman, a contributor to Father.ly, to help your child protect their body from damage, they should either try to stay away and create a buffer zone between them and the bully or they should charge the bully and tackle them so there’s less of a chance that they can get hit by a hard punch or kick.
If you’re worried about your child being able to defend themself against physical harm, consider using the tips mentioned above to teach them what they need to know to stay safe.