There’s a LOT you can do to keep your child safe from kidnappers. Here are some practical things you can teach him to lessen the chance that he’ll be approached by a potential kidnapper:

  • Be clear with your child’s school or daycare that no one is allowed to pick him up without your permission. Provide them with a list of people who are allowed to pick him up.
  • If your child walks to school, walk the route with him to identify landmarks and safe places, such as stores or the houses of neighbors you both know, to go if he’s being followed or needs help. Practice walking the route with him so you can point out places he should avoid or where he can go for help.
  • Have him buddy up with other kids when walking to and from the bus stop, school, or around the neighborhood.
  • Encourage your child not to hesitate to ask for help when he senses that someone or something doesn’t feel right.
  • Teach your child how to call 911 on a cell phone AND a pay phone and tell him what to say if he has to make that call. Ensure he knows his and your full name and address.
  • Create an ID kit with your child’s fingerprints, physical description, and recent photo. Many local police stations offer child ID kits, or you can make one yourself. Learn how by visiting
  • Get a personal safety device or app for your child. (I provide a link to a list of personal security products on my website at

What Your Child Should NEVER Do

It’s critically important that you teach your child that even when he thinks someone feels safe and seems nice, he is NEVER to go with them ANYWHERE for ANY REASON without your express permission. That means your angel can nevereverever:

  • Accept any gifts from others, no matter how appealing.
  • Try to help an adult they don’t know well, even if they appear injured and are begging for help. Your child’s response should always be to summon an adult to help that person.
  • Go with someone who asks them to come with him, unless they know the secret code word.
  • Give in to any threats someone makes—even if they have a weapon (which predators will almost never actually use). If the predator tries to use physical force or threatens to harm your child, your would-be Power Ranger absolutely must yell and fight as if his life depends on it—because it just might.

If any of the above happen to your child, teach him to yell and run, and to come tell you or another trusted adult right away.

Be the parent your child deserves!


the Badass Grandma

About Badass Parenting

In Badass Parenting: Prepare Your Kids to Deal with Danger without Scaring the Hell out of Them, danger expert CJ Scarlet helps parents teach their children how to avoid and handle themselves in scary situations ranging from bullying and digital dangers to sexual abuse, sex trafficking, and kidnapping.

After reading this book, you’ll feel more knowledgeable and confident in your ability to talk candidly with your child at her age and maturity level without scaring her to death. It’s time to ditch the worry and get some sleep!

Edgy, funny, and irreverent, this unputdownable book (with TONS of downloadable bonus content!) is the new bible for parents looking to raise safe, savvy, confident kids.

“Finally, a book about parenting that doesn’t scare the crap out of you!!!! We live in one of the safest times to be alive, and yet, most of us are terrified. Parents – especially so. It is refreshing to have a book that realistically looks at the real dangers our kids face and help us – (a) not freak out, (b) figure out how to help our kids deal with the risks without traumatizing them, and (c) does so while making us laugh!  A trifecta. I honestly wish CJ Scarlet’s book existed when my son was younger. I would have handed it out to every freaked-out parent I met at every mommy and me playdate I went to. Parenting is hard enough; we don’t need to generate extra unnecessary hysteria. This book will help you realistically face the dangers of parenting (real or imagined) with love and humor. Thank you, CJ!”

Jennifer Hancock, author of The Bully Vaccine

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