One of our most important jobs as parents is to teach our children how to be safe when we can’t be with them. This starts with open communication, ensuring that our kids know their voices are heard and that their well-being is our first priority. As a mother and self-defense instructor, I’d like to share a few reminders about things to talk about with your children as the new school year begins. #1- Bullying Empower your children to come to you if they feel threatened or bullied and praise them for being brave enough to take a stand. Ask questions and take time to listen. If your child does experience bullying, talk to the teacher or principal to make sure they are aware of what is going on and so they can intervene. Kids should never feel afraid to go to school. #2 – Street Smarts Head up, phone down! Children are hit by cars every day; most often right before or right after school. Remind them to cross only at crosswalks and to never walk and text at the same time. Never cross the street or parking lot while on any electronic device. #3- Walking to School? Parents should walk young children to school if at all possible. When they are on their own, use the buddy system. Arrange for your child to walk to school with a friend or classmate. #4 – Safe Word This one simple word could protect your child from abduction. As much as we always want to be the one to pick our children up from school, sometimes it isn’t possible. If an unexpected event requires you to send someone in your place, be sure your child knows to test them on the safe word. If a person says they are meant to pick up your child but they don’t know the safe word, tell your child to run as fast as they can to a teacher or the office. Under no circumstance should they get into anyone’s vehicle unless the safe word has been given. #5 – Information Be sure your child can recite your phone number and address without any hesitation. When driving together, quiz your child on how to get home from neighborhood places like a local grocery store or their school. #6 – Self Defense Come to Othentik Gym!!!! Kids will practice awareness, learn ki principles, and strengthen their confidence. Parents, these are “must do” safety strategies to teach and conversations to have with your children, but I strongly believe in leading by example. Show your children how you also follow these basic safety rules. Show your children that you have confidence in yourself and in them! Trust your instincts as well as your children; listen when they come to you. You are their example, their leader, their superhero. Be sure you measure up to the role you have been given.
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