IF YOU have been following KSS and have read any of my posts, you already know I have been focusing a series of posts on parents taking the role of Safety Coach for their children.  The goal is to make sure your children make it through the summer safe from bullies and adult sexual deviants, most specifically the miscreants who might be lurking somewhere in your neighborhood,  licking their lips and waiting somewhere where kids like yours are playing and hanging-out.  Waiting for that Special Kid.


So, let’s take a big step right now toward ensuring that your child is not targeted by the vicious “Chicken Hawk” for abduction.  I invite parents to start their Safety Coach career with maybe the biggest training objective or goal of all:  Creating and performing training exercises and/ or discussions that can ensure that you have a “Hard Target Child,” and/or, if not, creating skills that will convert him or her into the “HTC (Hard Target Child).”

But let’s start with the negative.  By identifying the characteristics that the “Chicken Hawk,” the child-sexual predator/abductor will be focused on.  The characteristics that comprise “that special kid,” or the Easy Target!  Before I go into these factors, I need to point out that, under the “right” circumstances, the predator will go after even the ideal “Hard Target Child.”  The child who has been either schooled in Predator Escape and Evasion Skills (or. Kid Escape Tactics) or is naturally gifted in these characteristics.  The Chicken Hawk might be looking for his ideal victim, but if the child is alone, in a witness-free environment, and appears distracted, you can bet the predator will be all over the child.  After all, likely he is an adult, larger than your child (Chicken Hawks will always avoid children who are as large as themselves or who appear physically capable of counter-assaulting them), experienced as a violent sexual criminal.

In a future post, however, I will explore some of the skills, tactics, and strategies your child can use to thwart any predator who actually gets close enough to grab your kid.

Safety Coaches:  Understand what characteristics your child must avoid so you can create your own Hard Target Child:  The predator is looking for a child who displays:

  • The qualities of a “nice, obedient” child.
  •  A quiet personality.
  •  The capacity to be open to conversation with a stranger.
  •  A capacity to be easily distracted.
  •  A willingness to answer questions asked by a stranger.
  •  A trusting personality.
  •  A physical weakness displayed by a meek and/or frightened posture and/or body language.  Not secure in him or herself, maybe.
  •  A tendency to be off by him or herself, away from other kids, etc.

Okay.  You might be thinking, Hammer, nice try, but that’s the way my kid is.  Sorry, but I raise nice, obedient, sweet, considerate children with super values, and it just so happens that my kid is a little stand-offish when it comes to the other kids in the neighborhood.

No problem, Dudes and Dudettes.  No need to alter your children’s qualities.  However, I do suggest you inculcate some understanding for your children on how the predator might operate.  Following these rules and guidelines might keep them safe:

  • Always stay close to others.  Try not to be alone or isolated.
  • Never talk to strangers.
  • Trust your gut feelings.
  • If an adult is close by and appears like he shouldn’t be, gain distance quickly.
  • Do not be afraid to act crazy.
  • Be full of noise!  
  • Predators are looking for that Special Child who is quiet, obedient, courteous, who looks like he or she will put up little or no resistance because, in order to be successful, the predator must be able to grab your child and escape with him or her in as little time as possible.

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