You may have seen this video on Facebook. It’s an experiment done on camera at a children’s play park with the parents permission where a man approaches a young child with a puppy, makes quick rapport and asks them if they want to see his other puppies at home.
This isn’t a new approach. It’s one i remember my parents warning me about. What’s shocking about it is how effective it still is and a great example of how easy it is for adults to break barriers with children and have them voluntarily walk away with them.
It is an approach I’ve role played in the past with my stranger awareness lessons for children although haven’t touched on for a while in my main classes. I plan on changing that over the next few classes.
Please show any of your children or young students this video and start a conversation about not talking to strangers. Also highlight how easy it is to find out a child’s name. Kids shout their friends names out all of the time when playing. Some of us self defence instructors put posts of our young students and use their name or write their names on their uniforms. Its my policy to not name any of my students on a public web site or even in any news articles.
A stranger knowing our name disarms us. You have experienced it as an adult when someone starts asking you how you are, you cant remember them but you act like you do not to be rude. Children are just as susceptible to this, or more so than adults. They are naive which is great, yet terrifying at the same time. I was reminded of this when my wife asked my oldest daughter who is 8 what she thought if a strange adult speed and offered her or her friends a lift. Her response was “that would be very kind she thoughtful mummy”
I’ve only given you two examples of how an adult can break a child’s mental awareness of starangers through distraction, gain a child’s trust and build rapport. There are many more. Have a think and conversation with your children and students about it.
Here is that video. It’s actually pretty scary for a parent or instructor to watch.
If you are an instructor and haven’t got a stranger awareness lesson plan for your school and would like one for free then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I hopeyou enjoy this post. Please consider reading my 10 steps to keep your child safe post on this blog and if you want to know more about my classes go to http://www.ckdbristol.co.uk.