Readers, if you have been following the news reports of the last few weeks, you know that three brave women are finally free in Cleveland, Ohio after being held against their will for an entire decade. The fact that the three captives never gave up and finally managed to escape from their captor, even after the public had considered them probably deceased after so many years, illustrates the importance of perseverance.
In light of this good news, it is important for parents to use this as a teachable moment for children. Below are a few safety tips regarding escaping from an abductor and never giving up from my children’s book, What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers.
· Teach your children how to avoid being grabbed by a potential abductor in the first place. Teach them to remember the word
SKY? It stands for scream, kick and yell.
Teach them that, if someone tries to grab them, they are to keep
screaming, kicking and yelling. They
should never stop fighting to get away. More
detailed strategies for children to employ to fight back if grabbed by a
potential abductor are provided in the book. Providing your children with the
book and practicing those strategies with your children is one way to empower
them to take a pro-active role to stay safe.
· Teach your children the common predator lures. These lures can include such things as asking for directions, asking for help to find a lost pet, promising the child candy or money to accompany him somewhere, and threatening to harm family members if the child doesn’t comply. Instill in your children that, if they hear any of these lures, it is time to get away quickly. More detailed strategies regarding predator lures are provided in What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers.
· Remind your children that you love them. Reassure them that, if they were ever to be abducted, you would never stop loving them and you would never stop searching for them, no matter what the kidnapper says to the contrary. Teach them, also, that they should never give up trying to escape. There are detailed escape strategies presented in my book.
What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, Follett, Baker & Taylor, and Ingrams. Here is a link to places of purchase:
Ø Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-would-you-do-melissa-harker-ridenour/1100996708?ean=9780938467113
Ø Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/What-Would/Melissa-Harker-Ridenour/9780938467113?id=5685569630196