How to Protect Your Kids and Instill Independence and Confidence!

Question from one of our readers!

I have two kids, ages 6 and 11. What can I do to protect them now that schools will be reopening and so much is going on in the world. They need independence and confidence, but I just hear so many horror stories.


The world has definitely changed a lot in the last couple of years and our kids are starting to get back into it.  But educating them about crime can also mean empowering them to be aware and use their instincts. Some empowering tips:

  • Trust you gut. Teach your children to listen to that inner voice that is making them uncomfortable and exit any such situation as soon as possible.
  • Tell your children it is ok to say no. Kids can be empowered when told they don’t have to be cordial and well-mannered if they feel any sense of danger. They can simply walk or run away, ask the person to stop the action that is concerning them or offensive, tell the person to step away if feeling closed in.
  • Always fight back. Criminals and people who want to take advantage of others want easy targets. They don’t want trouble and a fighting kid is often just the kind of trouble they’re not looking for.
  • Never keep a secret. Teach your children that whenever anyone says the word “secret” it’s time to tell your parents. Explain that adults never ask children to keep secrets from parents unless they’re up to no good.

Here is a recent positive story about a child who fought back. Her instinct and actions saved her life:

Just last month, an 11 year old named Alyssa, successfully fought off a man trying to abduct her at the bus stop. She was playing with homemade blue slime while she waited for her school bus in Pensacola, Florida. A man stopped his vehicle and ran over and grabbed her. He picked her up and attempted to get her into his car. When she fought and yelled, her assailant left her alone and ran back to his car.  Alyssa managed to get the blue slime on him, leading police to identify and arrest him a short time later.

Video of Alyssa showed her fighting for her life and therefore making herself a hard target.

On the Today Show, Alyssa told the hosts, “I knew that that (the blue slime she got on him) might be better evidence if the cops do find him.”  She credited watching Law and Order for the information on fighting hard and leaving evidence. While you might not want your younger child to watch violent programming, having a talk about these tips like fighting back and trusting your instincts are an important part of crime proofing your kids.