16 November 2016

Strategies for Mom's with Kids

This topic gets asked about during classes, so I figured I would post about it.  In many families Dad is seen as the protector, but the protector can only protect when he is around.  The reality is that Mom is the one who is always hauling kids around.

Moms are always going to be the #1 protector of the kids simply because of the amount of time they have them.  Self-defense skills are great, but even the good ones are more for protecting yourself and maybe other adults, not kids who are going to be a hindrance during any altercation instead of an asset.

The first thing for Mom has to be mindset.  The mindset needs to be that you are a bodyguard.  When we hear bodyguard, we think of a highly trained guy protecting someone by force.  The truth is, and any bodyguard will tell you, is that if they have to use force at all they view it as a failure.  Their two biggest tools are Awareness and Avoidance, not Aggression.  Making a habit out of the first two is a good thing, making a habit out of the latter is not.

The things a Mom with kids needs to be safe are time, space, and movement.  As hard as it can be, that means giving you extra time.  For example, when going for a doctor’s appointment, give yourself some extra time to circle the parking lot.  By doing so, there is a good chance that you may find a parking space closer or in a more populated area.  That means less ground cover with the kids which equals less exposure, or less chance of being approached because of witnesses.

The number one key to survival is the ability to move away from a threat.  This means if you are holding a little one, or have one by the hand, and for some reason feel confined or that your movement is otherwise being restricted, make a habit out of moving.  Never put yourself in a position where you are boxed in.  For example, when you take the kids to a restaurant, do your best to always sit close to an exit, especially one that you can see where it leads to.  At the first sign of a threat, grab your kids and get out.  

Now for the big one, putting kids in car seats.  During daylight is less of an issue to park around other cars, but at night it provides cover for criminals.  You want to remove someone’s ability to sneak up on you while you have your back turned while buckling in the kids.  If possible, try to park in such a way that you are not surrounded by other vehicles.  When the situation dictates, you should always have a flashlight to look around the perimeter of your vehicle to see if anyone is around or in it before you approach.  Another sound habit is to hit your panic alarm for a few seconds.  This can get a would be bad guy to leave, while at the same time attracting witnesses to you.  It is good to be heard and seen.  Take a look around, knowing how long it takes you to get the kids settled in the car, how close is the nearest cover for a bad guy to sneak up on you?

Put your older kids in the car first and tell them to be the eyes in the back of your head.  They can let you know if anyone is walking up behind you.  This is also a good life habit for them.

As for the aggression part of the equation, that is something Mothers are born with.  Just remember that you don’t want to fight the attacker, you want to stop the attack.  Because of the kids, it is likely not an option for you to run away, or if you do it will take time.  Your counter attack must overwhelm, shock, and stun the attacker.  The best way to do this is by attacking the face with your hands or hopefully something like a pen or flashlight.  Do your best to smash the eyes, nose, and mouth with repeated strikes.  If the opportunity presents itself, use your instep to scrape down their shin before stomping the bottom of your foot onto the top of theirs.  If you have the opportunity to slam a door on them, or smash their head into a vehicle or wall, do so and do it repeatedly until you can safely get away.

In most cases, it is not the kids they want, you will be targeted because they know you are distracted by the kids.  You need to realize that you are the last line of defense and that if you get knocked out, or removed, your kids will be alone or unprotected.

Remember 911 is for reporting an emergency, not preventing one.  That is up to you.

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