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How To Parent

Role Playing, For Safety’s Sake

June 18, 2012 | 0 Comment(s)

During martial arts classes, we take the opportunity to discuss with children a variety of issues, from safety and stranger awareness to peer pressure and dealing with bullies.

Parents wanting to discuss these issues with their children must make opportunities to do the same.

We discuss the issue with the children by providing them with solid guidelines on how to behave in the situation. To drive home the point, we do role-playing exercises.

Role-playing activities allow children to prepare for such situations because they know what should be done or said.

Be sure to discuss similar situations, because children don’t always see the connections the way adults do. For example, they might see being approached by a stranger on the street completely differently than being approached by a stranger on the playground. Even though the response is mostly the same, it is best to express to children a variety of scenarios.

These topics are perfect for heart-to-heart discussions in the car or at the dinner table. Here are just a few discussion starters:

• “Let’s say I’m your friend and I just found a pack of cigarettes. I want you to come and smoke them with me. What would you do?”
• “I’m the class bully and I just shoved you really hard. What should you do?”
• “I’m a stranger in a car and am asking you to help me find my puppy. What now?”

Role playing gives children a chance to think through these types of situations in a way that is concrete and understandable to them.

How to Get Your Kids to Call When They Need Help

June 18, 2012 | 0 Comment(s)

There are a host of issues that can be addressed under the topic of date safety. I want to address one way that parents can deal with a child who finds him/herself in a bad place, possibly already in trouble, with the possibility of even worse things to happen. This could be a son or a daughter who is faced with difficult choices. One lifeline you develop could be how you deal with your child in these types of situation.

When our children were growing up my wife and I had a sit down with our teenagers at the kitchen table. It should be noted our kids were good kids, for the most part, but they got in their share of trouble – some of it relatively serious. What we said was this. We know that you are going to get into trouble. You are going to find yourself at places you shouldn’t be and doing things you shouldn’t be doing. We love you very much and your safety means everything to us. Therefore, you can call us at any time, from anywhere, and we will come and get you with no questions asked. PERIOD.

It should be noted that all three of our children took us up on our offer. We kept our promise not to pry – but we usually found out, eventually, what was going on. The bottom line is that we were able to keep our children safe from some potentially dangerous situations. It built trust and fostered love between us. Our children still call us, on occasion, and we still pick them up with no questions asked. On occasion, they have returned the favor with no questions asked as it should be.


Gary Klugiewicz is employed by www.PoliceOne.com as a law enforcement consultant. He is nationally known as law enforcement defensive tactics trainer. Gary works with Dr. George Thompson from the Verbal Judo Institute. He can be contacted at gtklugiewicz@cs.com

Avoiding Peer Pressure

June 18, 2012 | 0 Comment(s)

Do you worry that your child might be saying “yes” when he or she should be saying “no?”

A child needs tremendous strength and good character to avoid the dangers and temptations that young people encounter in today’s society.

If you suspect your child is in with the wrong crowd, don’t wait until it is too late to help them build the character they need. A child who is insecure today is susceptible to negative peer pressure in the future.

Martial arts provide positive experiences for children, and offers tangible goals and rewards that help them stay focused.

Having strong, positive role models – from the instructors to the higher-ranking students – helps reinforce the values parents are working to teach at home.

We call it a black-belt attitude. It is both our goal – and our code of conduct.