Teach Child Resistance Skills

Child resistance skills refer to skills any child can learn and implement as and when they are interfaced with a challenge.

Oct 31, 2023 - 11:25
Teach Child Resistance Skills

All children are vulnerable as they are growing up. They face several challenges that range from kidnaps, sexual, emotional, and physical abuse, peer rejection, mental health issues, bullying, peer pressure, mistreatment, and harassment from fellow children and adults.

It is worse for the girl child as they face a lot of abuse especially sexually from adults. due to what all children experience, their environment seems unsafe for them. This does not matter whether a child is from a humble or rich background. They can all face such vulnerabilities in life from anyone at any time. This is the reason why as a parent you need to teach your child resistance skills.

Child resistance skills refer to skills any child can learn and implement as and when they are interfaced with a challenge. They can protect themselves from very potentially dangerous or harmful people or situations. It is for their personal safety and well-being in times of need.

You need to help your children recognize the skills they to be able to prevent danger from reaching them where possible. Some of these skills include; communication, assertiveness, problem-solving, decision-making, shouting, self-expression, boundary- setting, self-awareness, self-confidence, and self-esteem in public among others. Some children are vulnerable because back at home they lack love and care, they are emotionally mistreated by their own immediate family members, and they lack empowerment for free expression of their feelings.

Therefore, teach them about identifying and/or recognizing risky situations that can make them vulnerable. This should include strangers in their lives or even known members but who are trying to convince them into bad/risky behaviours.

It all starts with telling them every time what risky situations and dangerous people are and how they can fall into the devil’s trap. Have frequent conversations even about age- appropriate sexual education messages including teaching/naming their body parts, and honest discussions about personal boundaries, safety, and consent.

Creating a safe and non-judgmental environment is crucial for open communication with your children. By doing so, you are ensuring that they feel comfortable talking to you about anything. Encourage them to ask questions and share any concerns they might have. They should inform any trusted person of any suspicion they have about anyone/thing. This will foster a trusting relationship and promote open dialogue. Tell them not to receive goodies, hugs, sit on laps, etc from strangers in the absence of an adult. If it's someone they know and he/she is the one trying to cause harm to them, teach them how to make an alarm, scream, squeeze a male’s organ, bite, kick, or whatever trick they can use to run away from the perpetrator.

Teach them always to listen to their instincts. These serve as valuable tools for personal safety and decision-making. Encourage them to pay attention to any uncomfortable or strange feelings they may experience around certain individuals or situations. By doing so, they can better protect themselves and make informed choices.

They need to develop personal/private space and command respect for it. explain to them set boundaries that others have to respect and they too need to respect themselves by the way they dress up, speak, play around with the opposite sex, and strangers, and conduct themselves well. They need to know when to say Yes/No, stop, leave me alone, etc in the affirmative, ask for their space without fear, use a strong voice, stick to their principles, and always make direct eye contact.

Patience and perseverance are part of life in every situation. Some children fall victim to circumstances because they are not patient. They like quick and “glittering” things, they want to be like others without understanding the process, and as a result, they are tempted to go with any suggestion that can take them to their dream space and they regret later. In such life, they need good problem-solving skills and develop thoughtful solutions to their challenges.

As a parent, always be ready to listen to your child’s concerns. Don’t just subvert their feelings, fears, anxiety, constant statements etc. Pay attention to every detail and always create time to talk about them in a lovely tone that brings comfort and ensures security to their life.

The writer is the Executive Director of Hope Regeneration Africa, parenting coach, marriage counsellor, and founder – Men of Purpose Mentorship Program

Dickson Tumuramye Executive Director - Hope Regeneration Africa, Writer, Child Advocate, Parenting Coach, Marriage Counselor, & Founder - Men of Purpose Mentorship Programme