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Use your Walk Away Power if someone is acting unsafely.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. As part of our global efforts to help protect kids from abuse, bullying, and other harmful behavior, each day this month, we will share a time-tested skill from our Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

Skill #27: Feeling Scared or Worried? Leave! Children need to know that if someone or something makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or worried, or gives them the ‘Uh Oh’ Feeling, their safety plan is to move away and get help as soon as possible – we call this “Walk Away Power.” If they can’t leave right away, their job is to keep looking for a time when it is safe to leave. Prepare kids to leave a difficult situation and not let worry about upsetting someone stop them. Practice what to when there’s a safety problem with these steps.

This full practice is a part of the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook.

Children need to know that if someone or something makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or worried, or gives them the Uh Oh Feeling, they should move away and get help as soon as possible.

If they can’t leave right away, their job is to keep looking for a time when they can leave.

To practice, say, “We have been learning things you can do if you have a Safety Problem. If something feels unsafe, leave if you can. If you can’t leave right away, you can keep looking for a time when you can leave. You can keep using your other safety skills until you can leave.”

As the adult, say, “Pretend I’m someone at a party. Imagine I start doing something that makes you think I am about to do something scary. Maybe I am suggesting we do something dangerous, like play in the street or climb up on the roof. Or, maybe I am saying things that make you feel worried or uncomfortable. When you start to feel worried or scared, use your Walk Away Power if you can. Stand up, and walk away, and get help!”

Pretend to be the difficult person and say, “Hey, just let me do what I want.”

Coach the child to stand up, walk away while calmly saying, “See you later.”

Remind the child that getting help is the next step!

For a FREE explanation on the simple methods you can use to teach children to use each of these skills, download the Kidpower® 30-Skill-Challenge Coaching Handbook on our website –this ebook will be FREE of charge in English, Spanish, and Arabic in honor of April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Please share this skill with others. Let’s work together to teach young people to take charge of their safety, increase self-confidence, and develop healthy, positive relationships! 

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Published: April 27, 2019   |   Last Updated: April 27, 2019

Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People, and the Amazon Best Seller Doing Right by Our Kids: Protecting Child Safety at All Levels.

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