Teaching Personal Safety Skills to Children and Youth
Children face challenging situations every day at home, at school, online, and in their communities. Sometimes, adults are aware of these issues. Often, they are not. Kidpower teaches children positive, practical, and effective ways to think, move, and speak to stay safe in challenging personal safety situations. Working with children and trying to see the world through their eyes informs everything we do.
“People Safety” Skills for Kids
These are social skills people of all ages use to build safe, positive experiences with people everywhere they go. People Safety skills include:
- How to be and act aware, calm, and confident
- How to take charge
- How to get help
- How to set clear and appropriate boundaries
- How to stop unwanted touching and teasing
- How to protect themselves from name-calling and hurtful words
We teach physical self-defense skills to children six or older as well when families arrange for this option. Our workshops that include physical self-defense always begin with extensive practice in the many other skills that can prevent, avoid, leave, or de-escalate problems before they become physical. Our goal is to empower children with the full range of skills they deserve in order to escape from emergency situations as quickly as possible. Students in our Full Force workshops get individualized support practicing physical skills one-on-one with a padded instructor.
Kidpower Teaching Method
- We lead age-appropriate role-plays with skill, kindness, and humor
- We create opportunities to ‘learn by doing’ while also having fun and laughing
- We focus on positive, practical solutions children can use to leave or stop problems as quickly as possible
- We use upbeat language that is skill-based, not fear-based: we teach being ‘aware’, not ‘wary,’ and we teach ‘stranger safety,’ not ‘stranger danger’
- We include parents and caregivers every step of the way, because they are a child’s most important teachers with the power to reinforce the skills every day
- We offer written, illustrated books to help adults and children continue to practice on their own with the same positive, success-based, solution-focused approach they experience in our classes.
We offer several free articles and resources for Children.
- What Adults Need to Know About Personal Safety for Children
- Stopping Emotional Pollution for Children: Seven Practices from Kidpower
- Teaching Children the Skill of Confidence
- Face Bullying With Confidence: 8 Kidpower Skills Kids Can Use Right Away
- Bullying in Schools: Seven Kidpower Solutions for Parents
- Kidpower Safety Tips: Protecting Children from Sexual Abuse
- Safe And Unsafe Bribes
- Teaching Stranger Safety: The Kidpower Way
Workshops for Different Ages
We offer a variety of workshops offering hands-on, relevant, and fun learning experiences. Visit our California Workshop schedule for public classes. You can also organize a private workshop for your group.
Ages 3-5 Starting Strong with Kidpower Workshop (50 minutes)
Enjoy an introduction to People Safety Skills with your young child. Storytelling, puppets and interactive role plays introduce simple but powerful skills to handle unkind words, check first before touching something unsafe, move away from someone doing unsafe things such as throwing sand or playing too roughly, and get help from you effectively, even when you are busy.
Ages 5-8 Kidpower Parent-Child Workshops (2 hours)
Children together with their adults learn age-appropriate Kidpower People Safety skills and how to practice them as a team. Our instructors introduce skills children can use right away to feel safer and more confident dealing with people at home, on the playground, and out and about in the world. Every step of the way, we give supportive coaching so families learn how to continue practicing and reinforcing the skills on their own. This class does not introduce physical self-defense skills.
Ages 6-12 Kidpower Parent-Child Full Force Workshop (4 hours)
This workshop starts out just like a two-hour Parent-Child Workshop, and then it extends the learning to include physical self-defense skills. From the start, children together with their adults learn age-appropriate Kidpower People Safety skills and how to practice them as a team. The activities and the role-plays are tailored to be relevant to the lives of older children. Children then learn and practice physical self-defense skills with one-on-one coaching from a padded instructor. Adults get an additional opportunity to ask adult-only questions, and they encourage and cheer for the children as they practice their physical skills.
FamilyPower Workshop (Families with Children 6 and up; California only)
We lead this popular, two-part workshop just two weekends each year. Children six and up, teens, and adults learning together as a family get an in-depth People Safety skills learning opportunity offering “something for everyone.”
FamilyPower begins with the opportunity for families to learn together as a team focusing on building the children’s People Safety skills. Then, children learn and practice Full Force physical self-defense skills while the adults enjoy a tailored ParentPower session addressing their specific needs and safety concerns. On the second day, young people get more in-depth practice in the full range of skills while adults practice skills in their own Fullpower Full Force class.
Teens participate in the segments that best meet their own individual needs. We talk with the teen and their parents every step of the way to decide what opportunities and practices will be most relevant for them. The workshop ends with a demonstration where the children show the adults everything they have learned.
Kidpower-Weekend Family Workshops (Families with Children 6-14)
This three-part workshop offers the chance for children to learn and practice personal safety , including physical self-defense skills with a padded instructor. A separate parent workshop gives adults information and skills to help integrate the skills into the family’s everyday life.