The scary part is that we all use them.

Using some of these tactics does not necessarily mean that you are a bad person with bad intentions. In fact if all of us didn't use some of these tactics sometime it would be very difficult to make friend. The problem comes when people use these things and similar, in a more manipulative way; particularly against children.

We all have natural boundaries and despite the tendency of some parts of our society to paint Fear as a thing of evil, we need our boundaries and our Fear.

I teach my students that fear is a “Friename” (a word on of my students coined to describe someone or something that is both a Friend and Enemy). In other words it is both a friend and an foe.

It is a Friend when it stops you from doing the things you shouldn't do and a Foe when it stops you from doing the things you should do.

When people use any kind of tactic to manipulate someone, into doing something they would not normally do it is called “Boundary-Lowering”. It is a form of manipulation that has been used by bad people not just strangers for a long time.

In fact the term Danger Stranger has been outmoded for some time. Although it has its uses to describe certain people in certain situation, it has long been known that those who are vulnerable including kids, are so much more from those they know than those they don't know. It is therefore critical to understand Boundary-lowering tactics in order to teach other how to see through them.

Gavin de Becker is a violence prediction expert and best-selling author. In his ground-breaking and mind opening book , "Gift of Fear" he sets out a list of such tactics. This is a must read for any intelligent and self respecting self defence proponent.

Irene van der Zande, Kidpower Executive Director, in her article: Boundary-Lowering Tactics to Understand takes the time to give detail to that list

Both the article and the book deserve your time. Do not be lulled into a sense of false security by thinking that since you have taught you kids about Danger Stranger that they are safe from such things. It takes very little to become more aware. Having knowledge always brings greater freedom and having correct knowledge always helps peace of mind.

Unlike popular media this is good knowledge. Go and expand your knowledge and peace of mind now

Sensei

Richard