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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Spotlight on ... Lila Reyna, INA Conference Featured Speaker

The Myth of “Stranger Danger”

If you ask your child to describe the face of a “stranger” or “assailant,” chances are they will mentally sketch a scary and menacing person. They may even describe this person as suspicious and clothed in all black with dark beady eyes. Unfortunately, most people who prey on children behave and look quite the opposite. As a result, children are less likely to perceive them as a threat. In the eyes of a child, a complete stranger who strikes up a conversation quickly becomes someone that child “knows.” Keep in mind that most children are abused by someone they really do know, such as a family friend, relative, neighbor, or babysitter for example. Personal safety is not just about teaching children who or what to avoid but also includes positive rules so that children know how to keep themselves safe.

So what else can we do as parents to equip our kids with the proper tools against the bad person that might invade their life?

Talk about situations and explain what your rules are for their safety.

Have a red alert signal or password that let's your children know what to do in a possible dangerous situation.

Keep them involved in confidence building activities such as martial arts or self-defense workshops where they will learn, not only self-defense but also how to interact with others in a respectful and safe way.

Do your best to always know where they are and whom they are with.

Encourage them to tell a trusted adult if they have been approached by a stranger or by a known person that made them feel uncomfortable.

Telling children, “Don’t talk to strangers” is not only ineffective, it can actually put them at greater risk. Instead, teach your child how to recognize the specific lures used by predators and especially, to trust their instincts about people and situations. Learning to be assertive and aware of their own feelings and surroundings will arm children with tools that are much better able to protect themselves from violent crimes.

Lila Reyna
Action Awareness
Lila Reyna is a martial arts instructor of Kuk Sool Won and is currently testing for her third degree black belt. With martial arts expertise and training in the natural healing art of Psychosymmetrolysis®, Ms. Reyna trains the everyday seeker to be their own bodyguard. Ms. Reyna founded Action Awareness, a unique training that effectively heightens mental, physical, and spiritual receptiveness. Her energetic presentations are designed to help prevent harm inflicted by another, to increase internal awareness and to facilitate self-empowerment. Her book, “Quiet Mind, Warrior Spirit,” may be ordered at


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