If you are reading this, you probably already have several passwords for your computer, your phone, and your bank account, but… Do you have a password for your child?!
We held a special Kids Self-Defense Clinic at Kowkabany’s Family Martial Arts today, which covered topics ranging from avoiding conflicts, to using their voice as a deterrent, to practicing some simple physical defensive techniques. While we work on some aspect of self-defense in every class, today’s training was focused specifically on the practical application of Taekwondo techniques when dealing with physical threats from peers as well as from adult strangers.
At KFMA we focus on training our students mentally as well as physically, so our students regularly receive worksheets to help them to learn the life skills of self-discipline, goal setting, perseverance, etc. that we practice in our training.
Today’s ‘homework’ included a lesson for the parents on how protect their children with a password.
While many families are familiar with using a password for their children when sending a substitute driver to pick them up from school, that is frequently their only use for this special tool. In our clinic, we spent time explaining that every kid should have a code word, or password, to use with Mom and Dad for any situation in which they feel uncomfortable or scared.
For example, your child is at a sleepover at a friend’s house, and someone in the house is getting loud and argumentative. When you call to check on your child, they don’t have the privacy or the confidence to voice their fears out loud. However, suppose their password for being scared is “toothbrush.” Then when you ask how they are doing, all they would have to say is “I dropped my toothbrush.” You could also make-up a name for an imaginary pet, like “Oscar.” Then when you ask how they are, they could say “Don’t forget to check on Oscar” or “I forgot to feed Oscar” and you would know immediately that your child was uncomfortable and that you needed to get them out of the situation.
As an adult, you could quickly call back or drive over with the excuse of a family emergency and tell them that your child needs to come home tonight and you’ll have to reschedule the sleepover. Kids depend on their parents for protection, and while it’s important that they learn to be self-sufficient, in the younger years it helps to have a few tools in place to help them to stay safe and secure.
Just like physical training, learning how to use passwords or your voice as a deterrent takes practice. The Tigers and Kids who regularly train at KFMA work on developing their physical strength and their confidence to help make them safer in today’s world. For those who don’t train in the martial arts, the tips above are just a few simple ideas that could be implemented at home.
At KFMA, we offer separate classes for Tigers (ages 3 – 6), Kids (ages 6 – 11) and for Adults and Families. Our self-defense and physical fitness curriculum is designed to be age-appropriate, and ranges from the simple techniques listed above to the reality-based defensive tactics and combatives of Krav Maga. We offer classes six days a week, and we’re located at 13910 Monroes Business Park, just two doors down from the new Tampa Bay Brewing Company. For more information, please call us at 813-891-0624.