What would you do if..there is someone at the door?

What would you do if you were playing in the living room and someone knocked on your door, but your mom was busy?

answering-door7Today we suggested to our younger students that answering the door, even when they think they know who is at the door, is not their responsibility and that it is always the responsibility of the adult in the house.  The fact is that for a child to get into the ‘habit’ of answering the door can be a safety issue for the entire family.

Even as children get older they should learn some safety tips that we will discuss in the next section of this article.  How can we be sure that our children get into the ‘habit’ of telling mom and dad that someone is at the door?  I would suggest that even when you are standing right there, that you the parent opens the door, and you do not allow your child to do it for you.  It is too easy for the child to get used to opening the door and then forget when you are not in the room.

Even as adults the habits we get into are the ones we do when we are running on automatic.  I will tell the story of the police officer who was practicing gun disarms with fellow officers.  Wanting to get as many reps in as possible his partner would point the gun, the other officer would do the disarm, and then hand the gun back to his partner.  Over and over they went through this exercise.  Then one day the real deal took place.  The bad guy pointed a gun at the officer, he quickly disarmed the assailant and just as quickly handed the gun back to the bad guy.

If we do not want our child to open the door – then we must not practice opening the door with them.  Instead, randomly get your neighbor or friend to come over, knock on the door and see if your child responds the way you have been teaching them – to come and get you to answer the door.   You always practice what you want to do in the most stressful situation – not what you want to avoid.

Answering the door for teens and adults should also always be done using great care, no matter where you live. Here are self defense tips for everyone.

  • Think:
    • Am I expecting anyone?
    • Am I alone?
    • Do I recognize the vehicle? Is it marked properly?
  • Ask:
    • For identification
    • Call the company and check on the person (look the number up – do not use a number they give you.)
    • Take your phone with you to the door with your finger on the 911 speed dial
  • Don’t Be Afraid:
    • Take a photo of the visitor and their car. Tell them it is a precaution
    • Leave the house if you feel uncomfortable
    • Go to a neighbor or call police
    • Not to answer the door if you feel vulnerable

Self defense is not just about kicking and punching.  It is about protecting ourselves in all kinds of situations and knowing how to teach our children safety skills they can use for life.