Life Lessons: Kid power
The FBI reports 2,000 kids a day are kidnapped, either by someone they know, or by complete strangers.
But it's the trainers at RAD Kids who are teaching these young people how to protect themselves.
RAD stands for: resisting aggression defensively.
"It teaches me how to be safe, and how to, if I'm being attacked, I can attack them back," says RAD student Bianca Baldinelli.
RAD instructor Joanne Waite teaches specific drills like elbowing, hand blocking, and knee strikes. In one demonstration, the girls practice escaping from their backpacks; another scenario involves a possible abduction in a store.
The program gives kids, no matter what their age, permission to defend themselves.
"We help kids learn that they are in charge of themselves," Waite said.
Whether they are heel-kicking or using pepper fingers, the practice helps them prepare physically and mentally. RAD student Annie Krzywick says, "It makes me feel more confident and stronger."
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children advises that children under the age of 12 not be allowed out by themselves.
Instead of teaching your children not to talk to strangers, base their decision not on what a person looks like, but what they are asking them to do.
Also, tell your children, if they are lost, they should go to a store, and ask the clerk behind the cash register for help.
There are RAD programs in 46 states, Washington D.C., Canada, and the UK.
If you would like more information on the RAD Kids program go to www.radkids.org.
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