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While we as parents should be talking with our kids often about stranger-danger, it’s a subject that is often overlooked or dismissed as scary or as a difficult conversation to have.
Many parents rely on the school system to help educate their kids about imminent danger, both online and offline. Professionals encourage parents to keep the lines of communication open and talk with their children often about the dangers of befriending new people in-person and online.
This article provides tips on how to get this most important conversation started. Don’t stop there. Make it a topic of conversation often. Don’t think kids will know it all the first time the subject of stranger danger comes up.
Let’s start with the beginning.
Know what the schools are teaching your child about sex, human trafficking, cyber security, human trafficking, abuse, self defense and more. Be aware what they are teaching, at what age, and what might be missing from this line up.
If you know your child has sex ed for a semester, lean in on that and have your own talk with your child. If the school is offering a self-defense class during PE, aks your child to demonstrate some moves and ask them when they should use self defense. Build upon what your child already knows about stranger danger and online danger to star the conversation.
Don’t go into too many details when talking about difficult subject. Be clear, honest and get to the point quickly.
At the same time, use easy to understand words and a vocabulary that matches their age. Don’t use hard to understand words unless you are willing to repeat yourself over and over. Explain things in simple ways.
Take time to listen: Once you’ve explained something about stranger-danger or cyber security, stop to listen. Ask the kids if they have any questions!
Talking about stranger danger and online predators is not a one-and-done conversation! Use news stories are a catalyst to bring it back up and to continue the conversation. Let your children read news stories that talk about cyber security, human trafficking, especially if the cases are about kids meeting strangers online. Talk about what went wrong.
Use real life examples to talk to kids about what can go wrong. Being abducted, opening the door for strangers, meeting someone online who is not who they say they are. Trusting strangers. Don’t ever lay the blame with the kids: always make sure your child knows to come to you with concerns for themselves or a friend.
It’s easy to say “do this, do that”, but be sure to emphasize what NOT to do! Especially if you talk about using technology to keep kids safe: talk about using security cameras, an alarm system and the importance of phone tracking and being in touch with family members at all times.
No matter what stories you read online about kids being kidnaped, hurt or deceived, don’t judge them in front of your child. Your child needs to know they can come to you even if they’ve made a mistake!
Last but not least – always, always, always keep your door open for follow up questions! Kids are curious and might need clarification. Stranger danger and the danger online predators pose won’t disappear just because you’ve mentioned them to your child. As your child grows into their teenage years, continue education them about these topics.
Arm your child with knowledge, confidence and self-defense tactics!
Heather of Strand Security teaches self-defense classes to kids, teens and adults on the Grand Strand. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for details, and check out Myrtle Beach Self Defense today!
If you are a reader of our blog, you know both Chuck and Heather Bryant of Strand Security.
This is the mission of MBSD:
Myrtle Beach Self-Defense equips women and teenage girls with proven exit strategies and hands-on techniques to stand their ground, defend, and fight in case of a personal attack. We aim to transform any unsuspecting target into a powerful woman to be reckoned with through teaching of prevention and awareness techniques in every class. We are driven by personal experience to spread female empowerment to women of all ages and abilities.
This is THE time to book a private session with Heather, or book her time for your organization, association or group! Heather will travel to your group, and teaches at your location on the Grand Strand, both in Horry County as well as Georgetown County.
As you send your daughter off to college, off to school as a new driver, or if you’ve had a life change that now finds you spending more time alone, taking a self-defense class will boost your confidence and well as awareness to potentially dangerous situations.
Did we mention yet that Heather comes to YOUR LOCATION?
She’s taught self-defense classes at
We aren’t the only ones who understand the importance of self-defense for women and young girls!
WBTW News 13’s Lauren Crawford interviewed Heather for a news segment called
Watch it here:
We’d love to have you join a class this fall.
Connect with Heather today.
Email her at email@example.com, or go to the MBSD Facebook Page to message her.
One of the most frequently asked questions about our Myrtle beach Self Defense classes is
“Can I bring my daughter/son?”
The answer is a definite yes! We encourage participation of children and teenagers in our self defense classes. We understand that one of the biggest fears a parent has is the personal safety and overall wellbeing of their child. We understand, because we are parents ourselves.
Therefore, our self defense classes welcome young children and teenagers alike, to come train alongside their parent.
There are some easy answers to this question “Why do children need to know self defense?”
Safety, awareness, power and much, much more; a list with the reasons why all of our children, male and female, need to know how to defend themselves (against a bully at school or in case of an attempted kidnapping) goes on and on.
It is by no means a complete list, but a great start to understand how self defense can help your child in childhood and beyond! (think college, and work environment!)
There is no ‘right’ age and no ‘wrong’ age for children to learn self defense, but we recommend starting the process early! In our Myrtle Beach Self Defense Classes we’ve had girls as young a 6 years old join the class. Often, preteens and teenager join us – and not all girls either. We feel anytime a child asks is a good time to teach them self defense, as well as anytime you feel your child could use a dose of self confidence.
When the children are very young, simple tricks and useful language are taught. Even a six year old can yell, scream, pull hair, bite, kick and punch and adult!
When teenagers come in to our self defense classes, they are often more reserved and need to be encouraged to be more vocal. They are taught to yell and draw attention to the situation before it escalates. With the older teens we also go over rape defense, knife safety, gun safety and pepper spray usage – because why have it not be able to use it?
Private classes or group self defense classes and martial arts classes are great ways to teach children self defense.
Children (and adults) learn by repetition, so we encourage children to get on the mat and learn self defense moves. We also demonstrate how to escape, how to attack, how to defend and much, much more. We purposely don’t always match people up according to size, because often those who attack you will be bigger, stronger, larger, taller. That type of intimidation needs to be removed – a child needs to have the confidence to know s/he can do something to get out of a dangerous or hairy situation, even if the attacker is larger or taller.
We recommend repeating self defense classes at a minimum twice per year, if the child is not enrolled in a martial art program, but ideally s/he would take a monthly class to be able to keep practicing and learning these self defense moves!
Check out our Facebook Page Myrtle Beach Self Defense and ‘like’ us to stay informed of new classes.
We at Strand Security are very much concerned with your personal safety, not ‘just’ your security!
Years ago Heather was robbed at gun point. After this traumatic experience, she’s used her knowledge and experience (about self defense) to educate women and young girls about the importance of self defense. Strand Security has been offering FREE CLASSES to their customers under the Myrtle Beach Self Defense umbrella. Community members can also attend for a small fee. These classes have been fun, educational and most of all, empowering to women and girls.
However… can knowing and practicing self defense protect you at all times?
In these classes, we don’t only teach and practice self defense techniques, but we also talk about ways to stay safe and to prevent being a victim. We understand that we can’t always prevent crime from happening, but learning to recognize warning signs, and not putting yourself into a bad situation to start with can do a lot to prevent an attack on your person.
While we have these discussions in class, the subject of carrying a concealed weapon comes up every single time!
We can’t make a judgement call for you whether you should be a concealed weapon carrier, or not. What we can do is give you some additional resources for you to check out so that you yourself can make a more educated decision about how to protect yourself and those you love.
We searched google, of course and found the following articles.
Please read these at your convenience and learn as much as you can.
From the piece
To convict a person of murder or voluntary manslaughter based on the use of deadly force against another person who is attempting to enter his home, the State is required to negate that person’s claim of self-defense. Under South Carolina law, a person is justified in using deadly force in self-defense if: (1) he was without fault in bringing on the difficulty; (2) he was in danger of losing his life or of sustaining serious bodily injury or he actually believed such; (3) if his defense is based on belief, his belief was not unreasonable or, if his defense is based on actual danger, the circumstances would warrant the fatal blow; and (4) he had no other probable means of avoiding the danger of losing his own life or sustaining serious bodily injury than to act as he did.
From the piece
South Carolina has a “stand your ground” law which protects those who use force in self-defense. The stand your ground law is found in the Code of Laws in Title 16, section 16-11-440.
According to this law, if a person is not doing anything illegal and that person is attacked in any place where he or she has a right to be (including your home, your work, or a public place), that person has the right to stand his ground ground and “meet force with force, including deadly force,” as long as he “reasonably believes it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or another person or to prevent the commission of a violent crime as defined in Section 16-1-60.”
For stand your ground laws to protect you, you must have actually believed that you or someone else would be hurt or that a violent crime would have been committed if you had not taken action. Your belief of an imminent risk of harm must have been a reasonable one.
From the piece
Self-defense in South Carolina is a concept that many people probably think they know and understand or at the very least have heard of it. However, what is self-defense and what self-defense is not is probably drastically different from what the average person understands. This article discusses the law on self-defense and how it is applied in South Carolina.
From the piece
According to the Protection of Persons and Property Act (“PPPA”) a/k/a “Stand Your Ground” law, a person has the ability to protect himself or herself, even through the use of deadly force, if someone else is unlawfully and forcefully entering a home or occupied vehicle, or if someone is removing or attempting to remove another person against his will from the home or occupied vehicle. A reading of the current law doesn’t appear to require it to be YOUR home or vehicle, so long as you were invited to be in the home or vehicle by the owner or person living there.
The PPPA DOESN’T apply if:
The “intruder” has a right to be in the home or occupied vehicle, such as being a resident, an owner, a tenant, or titleholder to the property or vehicle. We caution you that if you invited this person into your home, and then later kick them out, you are likely not entitled to protection under the law. On May 7, 2014, the South Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion in State v. Manning which stated that “Stand Your Ground” does not apply if the person was invited into your home. If you shoot someone and go to trial, the jury may still be told that they can consider other defenses, such as the old Castle Doctrine Law or the law of self-defense, but immunity under the “Stand Your Ground” statute is out.
The person being removed from the home or vehicle is a child, grandchild, or person under lawful guardianship of the “intruder.”
You are engaged in unlawful activity or using the home or vehicle in furtherance of unlawful activity. The law does not define “unlawful activity.” However, if you were conducting a drug deal in your house when the incident occurs, you are probably not protected by the statute.
- The “intruder” is a law enforcement officer performing his duties, so long as the person defending himself knew or reasonably should have known it was a police officer.
Whichever way you want and need to protect yourself and those you love, do it with a plan.
Know you rights!
If you want to learn self defense, get in touch with us at Strand Security. Fall classes are starting back up. As always, classes are free to our Strand Security customers.