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How do you teach street smarts?

(12 Posts)
rabbitheadlights Mon 22-Jun-20 21:51:32

Not AIBU but looking for advice?

My 14 yr old DD has none of the above, it's my fault I have wrapped her in cotton wool and she has no idea what the real world is like, she knows there are bad people out there etc but .. in reality out there she wouldn't stand a chance. I have taught her to trust her gut and if something doesn't feel right to react and that the worst she can be is wrong. She is such a good girl, tries hard with school work, helps at home but she is very much an introvert and shy. She doesn't go out unless it's prearranged with friends for lunch or shopping etc. I grew up in a very rough area, and learnt early on how to judge situations etc ... How do I teach this ??

OP’s posts: |
rabbitheadlights Mon 22-Jun-20 21:52:31

For context we live in an area that is considered by most as "rough" but actually isn't if you know it at all

OP’s posts: |
picklemewalnuts Mon 22-Jun-20 22:17:48

She may be more clued up than you think.

My son was very naive- maybe ASD. When he went into situations I felt he was unaware of the risks, I coached him ahead of time.

So when he went into town with friends, I talked through the importance of staying together, not arguing and splitting up. I also coached on what to do if a mate was shop lifting.

When he went for an overnight in a house I knew was less protective than mine, I told him about porn and how to avoid it, and made sure he had some excuses lined up should he need to come home.

Things like code words are useful, so she can ask for help without it being obvious. If she phones or texts saying 'I can't find my...' you know it's a request you call her back and insist she come home.

It's about being prepared really. The 'trouble out with mates' advice wasn't needed. The problems on a sleepover was- he didn't ask to come home but he told me all about it the next day!

TeaAndBrie Mon 22-Jun-20 22:50:56

Does her school do PHSE lessons? They seem quite well pitched.
Is she very independent? Will she go out to meet friends on the bus or do you drop her off, does she walk to school etc (obviously in normal times)
I think children growing up now is a different place to when us parents were young.

rabbitheadlights Tue 23-Jun-20 21:10:22

Yes they do phse, she will go on the tram to meet friends but she wants me to stay on the phone with her

OP’s posts: |
CrunchyCrumpet Tue 23-Jun-20 21:32:12

Its an interesting one, the PHSE will definitely especially in terms of relationships, crime etc. Its one of those things that experience will help her, things like being on the tram will help with you continuing your support on the phone and then gradually withdrawing it. Perhaps be on the phone for 75%, then reducing it each time she's out so she can gain more confidence. She'll pick up a lot from you when you're out and about so its worth just highlighting bits and pieces, may make her cringe of course but it will be noted!

Saracen Wed 24-Jun-20 00:50:46

I drop things into conversation all the time. My child is nearly 14 and very vulnerable. However, I've started small with ideas she can easily grasp and which won't upset her too much - her understanding is that of an eight year old. She freaks out if I go on for long, so it has to be brief and frequent.

So for example I have mentioned that some people have boyfriends/girlfriends who are nasty to them, tell them what they can and can't do, or hit them. And sometimes people feel trapped in a relationship like that and might need to confide in a friend for help.

I've explained that people sometimes try to trick you and they can be very believable. I used the example of our (normally savvy) elderly neighbour who fell victim to a distraction burglary.

And so on. Lots of discussion and coaching.

My dd has a long way to go, so she is rarely out of the sight of me or a trusted person. Because I think the complement to equipping them with life skills is protecting them until they've made good progress in acquiring those skills. By contrast, her older sibling was very confident, good at asking for help, took no nonsense from anyone, so was out alone from a very early age. You have to judge what your own child is ready for.

LizzyButton Wed 24-Jun-20 01:06:08

> out there she wouldn't stand a chance

I'm not sure how many of us would under certain circumstances.

It's difficult. My daughter is so freaking dreamy at times that she's in another world when she shouldn't be. I was a bit like that but I also knew the route back / where the exits were / how to knee a man in the balls.

Three things I have hear myself say:

1. The world still turns when you are looking at that screen.

2. If something seems too good to be true, it isn't true.

3. Strangers contact you because they want something from you.

BackforGood Wed 24-Jun-20 01:37:13

I've always done lots of "What would you do if....." conversations.
But started when they were MUCH younger than this

"What would you do if I wasn't there when you came out of school?"

(On the beach) Point out a landmark behind us, so if can't see us on beach / when go down to sea, know what you are looking for, then "What are you looking for if you can't see me ?"

Know your "plan" if you find yourself separated out in a crowd anywhere (zoo, park, shops, whatever".... I always said Stand still (that way I can back track and hopefully find them, rather than them trying to find anything in particular, and of course, it works wherever you are)..... repeat, on a regular basis "What would you do if...."

"Who do you think would be a good person to ask for help if you'd stood for ages and we'd not found you ?"

and then you build it up as they get older

"What would you do if you were offered drugs at a party?"

"What would you do if the taxi didn't come / you friend got separated in a nightclub / etc etc?"

It gives them chance to have thought of all sorts of scenarios when in a calm and relaxed place (we'd often talk at mealtimes).
then you challenge them "....and if you couldn't see a security man or a policeman?"...... etc.

Then, as they got older, I'd sometimes make up scenarios...... "{Colleague from work's dd} was in town with her mates last weekend and this happened. I don't know what I'd have done." and they start discussing, 'well, if this was happening the could have done A, but if that wasn't realistic then B might have worked' etc.

Then, actually do occasionally be the last one to collect them or something, to let them know everything was fine because they did what they were supposed to / did the right thing.

Nat6999 Wed 24-Jun-20 01:42:18

Could you start doing short trips, send her to the corner shop, or instead of her being on the phone, could you have a tracking app so you know where she is & she knows you are watching over from a distance?

GinDaddyRedux Wed 24-Jun-20 05:24:33

This is a useful primer on the code of the streets:

m.youtube.com/watch?v=nFhWpTKvD8E

MushroomGloom Wed 24-Jun-20 06:17:44

@rabbitheadlights chat through scenarios with her that could happen.

For example, from about 4-6 onwards, my grandma would do scenarios with me. She'd ask me "what do you do if a nice stranger has a puppy, and days he has more in his car, and offers to take you to see them?" We'd have a chat about it, and then she'd explain what I should do "You shouldn't go with them. Responsible people don't keep litters of puppies in their car. The stranger might not have any more puppies in their car, and just be trying to take you to their car to isolate you and take you away from everyone else, so you shouldn't go with them."

Other scenarios included what to do if you were waiting to alone to be picked up by a parent and someone asks how long until your parent picks you up (say "that's them now, dash round the corner, and wait somewhere else near to where they were going to pick you up), and what to do if someone you don't know tries to pick you up from school, claiming that your parent can't (quiz them about your parents, refuse to go with them unless you have evidence that your parents actually wanted them to pick you up ...etc).

Two of the many scenarios that we went through actually ended up happening to me growing up, and because I knew what to do, I was able to get out of them. So I would definitely recommend this method.

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