Teaching kids about crime prevention PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 06 September 2011 14:15

Parents cannot be with their children 24 hours a day. It is therefore the duty of parents to teach their children at a very young age, every possible method of crime prevention.

When such methods are taught to children, many times they will teach other children what they have learned, helping to further reduce the chances of more innocent kids being victimized.

For parents and guardians, the following crime prevention tips should help children better understand personal safety.

* Always make your children carry identification with them at all times. Provide them with a laminated card that has their full name, age, address, contact phone numbers in case of an emergency (yours and other relatives or friends both at work and at home), blood type, allergies to medication, physicians name, address, and phone numbers. This is the minimum information that should be included on such a card.

* Teach your children how to use the telephone to dial 911 and what to say when the dispatcher answers the call. If you do not have 911 service in your area, keep the number to the police station next to the telephone and tell your children why that number is there and how to dial that number in case of an emergency.

* Have passwords for your children that are used between you and your family only in emergencies.

* Tell your children that if they are ever confronted with a dangerous situation, cry out for assistance. Yelling “FIRE! FIRE!” instead of “HELP!” will generally bring faster attention and response.

* Do not use scare tactics on children. Statistics prove they do not work. Instead, talk to your children about the numerous hazards and dangers that are present in our society.

* Explain to your children that they are ultimately responsible for their own safety, especially when you are not around to help. This will most likely help them gain more responsibility and further assist them in taking control of their own security.

* Make children aware of their own instincts and senses. Children can sense danger at very young ages. Studies show that children between the ages of 3 to 5 are able to think for themselves, place judgment, and know right from wrong.

* Show children how to ask for help. Tell them who they can ask for help and that it is always OK to ask for help in any situation. Encourage them to act on any instinctual need (their inner voice) they may have to express their feelings. Children who are encouraged to speak their feelings, have a much better chance of stopping abuse before it happens.

* Warn your children about strangers, and why they are not to interact with them at all! Explain to your children that a stranger is ANYONE they do not personally know. Predators test children to see how trusting their potential victims might be toward them. Predators can be very patient, talking to a child several times trying to gain trust before actually committing their crimes.

* Demonstrate to your children what methods and tactics predators will use to gain a child’s trust, and eventually lure them into a trap. Explain that a stranger will try to gain their trust by asking for help, (such as finding their lost dog or something similar), try to bribe them with candy or toys, act like they are in trouble and need assistance, or anything else to appeal to a child’s sincere and helpful nature.

* Explain that when a child offers resistance to a stranger, they (the predator) will often use phrases like “I thought you liked me”, or “I thought we were friends” to make the child feel guilty about resisting. If your children know these tactics beforehand, they are much more likely to resist since they know what to expect.

* Instruct your children to tell someone immediately that they have been approached by a stranger, and to ask that person to report the incident to the police. Suggest that your children take notice of the stranger’s identifying characteristics such as hair color, eye color, body shape, height, name, clothing, shoes, tatoos, etc. If the stranger is driving a car or riding a bike, tell your children to notice the color, make, and model if possible.

* At young ages, children understand touch and affection. Explain good touching and bad touching to your children. Show them where on their body it is OK to touch, and where it is not OK to touch. An example of good touching is when MOM and DAD hug and kiss them. Bad touching is when other people (especially people they don’t know) do similar things, or worse. Be certain they know to report any bad touching to you immediately, and not to be ashamed or scared to do so.

* Many predators, after they have abused a child, will either threaten to hurt the child or the child’s parents if they tell anyone about the incident(s). Predators will also tell their victim(s) that no one will believe the child’s story, and that they will get in trouble for telling anyone. Explain this to your children and make them understand that nothing bad will happen if they tell the truth about bad things that have (or could) happened to them.

If your children know the lies and deceptions that a predator will use to persuade their victim to remain silent beforehand, there is a very good chance that they will not be afraid to report the incident afterwards. This is true because they will already know what to expect when it happens, ignore the threats, and report the incident(s) anyway.

* Help your children to become more observant. Tell them to pay attention to who is home or has lights on when walking to and from school or friend’s homes.

* If a child sees someone sitting in a parked car, be sure they know to stay away from it and not to stop to talk to anyone they do not know.

* Remind them not to open the door to anyone, or let anyone on the phone know that they are home alone.