The article from The Epoch Times, written by a former Secret Service agent Evy Poumpouras, details six practical strategies for teaching children how to stay safe and avoid dangerous situations. Here are some of the key points to take away:

1. “Say no to screens” – It is crucial to understand that there is a significant risk of online predators attempting to contact your child, potentially deceiving them into meeting in person by posing as other children. These individuals often exploit digital platforms to manipulate and lure young users. Additionally, as highlighted by The Epoch Times, “as a parent, you should be the most influential figure in your child’s life.” In the current digital age, social media is pervasive, offering a vast array of content, including material that may impact your child’s perception of self-worth and development. It is essential to be vigilant about the influence these platforms have on your child’s upbringing and values. Now this does not mean that it would be like this forever… but waiting until your child is at a mature age is advised and even then, monitor some.

2. “Build their confidence” – Having self-confidence is essential for personal development. Two activities are listed in this article for children to boost their confidence. One being Acting classes and the other martial arts (Brazilian jiu-jitsu). Acting classes are helpful because it allows kids to express themselves in a safe environment, giving them that voice. This is helpful for those kids who feel as if they do not have one at all. And Brazilian jiu-jitsu because it allows them to develop the skills of defending themselves. Two activities are known to help enhance a child’s confidence. Of course there are other ways of doing this as well. In the article Ms. Poumpouras states, “There’s no greater gift that you can give your kid than to know that they can handle something or have the ability to handle something”.

3. “Teach Them to Trust Their Gut” – Trusting your intuition is crucial in high-risk professions like the Secret Service, law enforcement, and the military, as it helps in both avoiding and managing danger. Ms. Poumpouras in the article stresses that ignoring gut feelings, often rationalized away in the moment, can lead to regret, as these instincts are there to protect us. She advises parents to model trust in their own intuition, as children learn by watching them. Teaching kids to heed their instincts, asking them if something feels wrong, and encouraging open communication can help them develop a strong sense of self-trust and safety awareness. It is also recommended to ask children indirect questions about their day to glean insights, fostering a supportive environment where they feel comfortable discussing concerns, even if it is with another trusted adult. Being a curious and involved parent is key to nurturing this intuition in children.

4. “Thing Twice About Sleepovers” – The common advice “don’t talk to strangers” overlooks that most crimes against children are committed by people they know. It is stated, “Over half of the crimes committed against children are done by someone they know.” Ms. Poumpouras stresses the importance of thoroughly knowing anyone you entrust with your children, as many predators exploit their own kids to lure others. She advises against sleepovers and emphasizes caution regarding whom children visit and socialize with. Trusting intuition and fostering open communication are vital, though children may not always report issues due to fear or embarrassment.

5. “Be Careful in Crowded Places” – While abductions of children by strangers are uncommon—only 59 out of 181 Amber Alerts in 2022 involved non-family members—parents should remain vigilant in crowded places like amusement parks, which predators target due to the presence of children, according to Ms. Poumpouras. She recommends teaching children to recognize exit routes and to run if they encounter danger or an abduction attempt. It is crucial to approach this teaching calmly, framing it as a practical response in emergencies, like fire drills in schools. Additionally, children should memorize their parents’ phone numbers and home address for easy contact when needed.

6. “Teach Them What to Do in Case of Assault” – The passage stresses the importance of equipping children with skills to protect themselves from potential assaults by being alert and trusting their instincts. If approached or followed, they should seek safety by entering a nearby store and asking for assistance. They are advised to loudly vocalize and resist if someone attempts to touch them, as predators typically target those who seem vulnerable. The significance of learning self-defense techniques such as jiu-jitsu is emphasized to prepare children to defend themselves effectively. Overall, the approach aims to empower children to take decisive and confident action in risky situations rather than being overwhelmed by fear.

At American Defense Solutions, we prioritize the safety and security of children. Our mission is to educate families on crucial daily practices that can significantly enhance children’s safety. In today’s uncertain world, awareness of one’s environment is of utmost importance. For further information, please refer to the article linked below. We trust it will be beneficial to you and your family.

Former Secret Service Agent: 6 Ways You Can Teach Kids to Avoid Danger | The Epoch Times

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