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Keeping Your Children Safe


by: Gary Stevens

Parents: Don’t teach your children FEAR. Teach them the skills to defend themselves.

I am very concerned that with parents being terrified by the thought of child abductions, many parents are going to fill their children with fear instead of teaching them awareness and skills to avoid becoming a victim.

As a parent, I understand the worry and fear we have about the dangers that are lurking out there that might harm our children. As a professional Martial Arts Instructor, I don’t understand why more parents aren’t enrolling their children in programs that are designed to teach protection skills to their children.

Certainly, I teach those skills in my TaeKwonDo school in Glen Rock, but if not with me, you should enroll your child in any of the martial arts schools in the area, so that they can learn to recognize, avoid or get away from dangerous situations.
Parental worry and fear is easily recognized by the child and unconsciously adopted by them as well. Would you like your child to grow up living their life in fear? I wouldn’t.

We all know that education is the best answer to most problems and a solid education in the martial arts will offer benefits well beyond your current understanding.

The Martial Arts are not only for self defense. There are more benefits for the individual than most people can imagine. It’s not about fighting, but more about self control. It’s not about just kicking and punching, but more about overall health, fitness and flexibility. It’s about building strong character; about eliminating fear and increasing self respect and self confidence. All of which will stay with the child or the adult throughout their lives. How much is that worth to you? The tuition may be expensive in today’s economy but do you know of a better investment in your child’s well being or yours? I don’t think so.

I have heard parents tell their children to trust their instincts. If their instincts tell them they are in danger then run away. That is also telling them that if their instincts aren’t alerted, then it’s ok. Telling a child to trust their instincts is asking for real trouble. The child’s instincts will tell them to help the man looking for his dog. The child’s instincts will tell him to help the lost man with directions. A child is a child, not an adult. They do not have the sensibilities and reasoning of an adult, no matter how much we want them to or tell them to. Role playing is a good way to train them, but relying on their instincts, is certainly something I would not recommend.

I am a certified member of the “Community Emergency Response Team” and a Volunteer with our town’s Ambulance Corps. I would hate to have to respond to an emergency involving a child that could have been avoided.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this issue further, please call me at: 201 670-7263. I am always available to you.

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