Self defence starts in the classroom talking to children about the dangers of getting involved with drugs, and knife crime.

When children become teenagers and eventually start going out to bars and clubs, they are going to meet lots of different types of people. Some good, some not so good and some who are nothing short of evil.

There will be lots of temptations for them to resist, it could be anything from taking drugs to being offered easy money to run with drugs, and eventually become dealers themselves. When you are in your late teens a drug run can seem like easy money, but once they get into the company of dealers and criminals it’s very hard for them to get out again.

There were many occasions when I worked the doors in pubs and club’s I would notice a female who seemed to be under the influence of something far stronger than alcohol or weed. Turned out quite a few of them had been spiked, on a number of occasions I even used their phone to contact parents, and made them wait where I could see them until they were picked up. I always made a point of making sure someone was safe before letting them leave the premises if I was aware of a problem. Unfortunately, this is not common practice especially in busy night clubs. Most towns now have street pastors who are contactable by radio so at least try them, if available they will always come to the rescue.

When children are in their late teens especially in times like these, it’s easy for them to feel lost and directionless, this is when they are most vulnerable to being taken advantage of by criminals and see it as something glamorous.

I personally know of young people who have become drug runners and got themselves into all sorts of problems. You may say it’s their fault for doing it in the first place for getting involved, but would you say that if it was your son or daughter? I think not, young people need to be guided and mentored so they choose the right thing to do when offered a poison chalice.

This is where it’s important to have role models, earlier on in life, I may have criticized some traditional martial arts as a self-protection system, but as for providing good moral leadership and mentoring it can’t be faulted, If you find a good traditional martial arts school with an instructor who teaches respect, keeps good discipline and provides moral guidance its worth every penny, and could save you a lot of worry when they get older.

The point I’m trying to get across is this, you won’t be able to stop your children coming into contact with bad people, it’s impossible, what you can do is pre-arm them with the tools to make the right moves and decisions when they do come into contact with them.

What to do if you child hangs out with the wrong people

There’s an old saying birds of a feather flock together, it’s easy for teenagers to fall into a group they feel accepted in, maybe they suffer from low self-esteem, or just not doing well at school and feel they are not worthy of being accepted by the type of friends you would find more to your taste for company. The most important thing to a teenager is to be and feel accepted by a group of other teenagers, it doesn’t matter if they are good or bad acceptance is all that matters in many cases.

The rule of 7, It’s a fact that you and people in general are the average of the 7 people you hang out with. So, if your child hangs out with people who take drugs or steal, chances are they will be doing the same. Now here’s the thing you won’t be able to decide who your kids hang out with, it’s impossible. My advice is as busy as parents are in a modern world give them positive interests outside of school, such as sports clubs and creative interest groups. If you give you children from an early age creative challenges that attract the type of youngsters who are not interested in the streets you will be halfway there. Encourage your children to take up an interest that takes time to develop and is as far away from instant gratification as possible, drink, drugs and petty crime are objects of instant gratification. In other words, it requires no self-discipline and perseverance to obtain an emotional fix from it.

As a child I had an upbringing that gave me a good idea of what was wrong, and what was the acceptable way to behave. I remember clearly having a best friend at school who was an OK guy and when we left school we got up to all sorts of stuff, not bad or evil stuff, just stuff my parents would certainly not of approved of. Then he started mixing with another group of lads, who were definitely on the wrong side of the law, he pulled up in his car one day, I got in and saw he had a full tank of petrol and lots of let’s say goodies in the back of the car. I asked him where it had come from and he openly admitted they had all been out the night before stealing petrol and breaking into cars. That was the last time I went out with him, I automatically gravitated to other friends, I instinctively knew that was the line in the sand I would not cross.

If and when concerns come about who your teenager is mixing with, discussion and a civil conversation will be better than a shouting match that pushes them further into the clutches of undesirables.

Talk to them in an open and civil way, they may give off the impression they are not listening and don’t care what you have to say, but most will go away and think about what you have said and absorb what you have tried to get across, and if any teenagers are reading this, your parents are only saying what they are saying because they care about you. Drug dealers’ dodgy friends and criminals do not have your best interests in mind. Trust what I’m saying on that one.

TELL ME WHO YOUR FRIENDS ARE AND I WILL TELL YOU WHO YOU ARE OR WHO YOU ARE LIKLEY TO TURN OUT LIKE.

Give them your idea of boundaries not ultimatums and get agreement of them. Don’t push their friends away whatever you may think of them, keep your friends close, and keep your children’s potential enemies even closer.

You may not like it but while your teenager is developing, you will have to play the long game, don’t push them away, always have their best interests at heart and be open to conversation and chances are they will always stick close to home. Don’t put them into impossible positions of not being able to approach you over concerns and forcing them further away making them even more vulnerable to outside influences.

Observe them from a distance and give them the freedom to move about freely and the privacy they need.

Teaching respect

If you don’t talk to children with respect, how do you expect them to give it back, if you act like an overgrown child what’s that saying to them?

If your child makes a mistake or does something wrong show them the same respect that you would show a waitress in a restaurant who had bought you the wrong order, I’m sure you wouldn’t shout at them and say get me what I ordered!

Respect has to come within, it can’t be forced or demanded.

Don’t shout and yell, it teaches them nothing. When you have to correct your child’s, behaviour make sure you talk calmly, and you are directly in front of them making eye contact and explain why there’s a problem.

Make sure you ask them why they are acting this way. Nine times out of ten it’s because they are angry over not getting something or getting their own way. Simply take the time to explain why they can’t have what they want or do what they want. But stay calm.

Your child will do things different to you to get the same outcome, don’t tell them they are wrong or stupid. A perfect example is cream tea cakes does the cream or jam go on first? It really doesn’t matter does it, it tastes the same.

I have a level 3 teaching certificate. This qualifies me to be able to officially teach in learning establishments, local education facilities and colleges. I have taught conflict management and physical intervention at both Northbrook and Worthing 6th form colleges. I am constantly in a state of learning by going on courses that help me to teach to a higher standard, with improved techniques of relaying information to my students.

I am also a fully qualified First Aid trainer, fully trained in resuscitation for adults and children.
Qualifications

Level 3 Teaching in local education and authorities such as local government and NHS.
Level 3 Trainer in conflict management
Level 3 Trainer in Physical Intervention
Level 3 Trainer in First Aid
CPD Training in Personal Safety Awareness
CPD Training in Situational Awareness
CPD Training in Knives and Edged Weapon Awareness

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