Teenagers and personal safety

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2012
Teenagers and personal safety
8
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 11:17am

I miss how active these boards used to be.  I didn't post much, but loved reading.  Here is my contribution to generating discussion.  Two weeks ago, my DD - 17, stopped after Church to get gas.  She has been driving about 6 months and though it was 10:00 pm, she went to the normal gas station where she gets gas during the day.  At any rate - A man approaches her and begins telling her his story about needing money.  Offers to sell her a TV, needs gas, moving, etc.  She gives him $7.00 (and was happy at being able to help him - she says he was buying gas as she left - I'm cynical, so I'm glad she felt good, but...).  We started talking about personal safety and I told her how dangerous it was to be talking to people that she did not know.  She said "I know, but what should I have done?"  This simple question made me really think - 1) sit in your car as you are putting gas in the car (her answer - he approached her as she was putting the nozzle in the gas.  2) Ignore them - this feels very hard for her and could be more antagonizing.  3) Tell them you do not have cash.  Anyone have thoughts?  BTDT advice?

As an update - we've arranged a class for her and her friends where they will get some practice yelling, hitting someone, running away and then a talk by a police offier about how to be aware of your surroundings and trusting that feeling that says something is not "right."   She will be leaving home in a year and I hought driving was the scary part..... Undecided

Have a good weekend

T

Community Leader
Registered: 07-26-1999
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 11:37am

That's a good question and I don't know if we've ever really talked about it either, but with ODD going off to college next year, its probably good to start those conversations.  I know that ODD does her best to always make sure she fills up during the day if she knows she is low or is going to need to gas soon, but inevitably there will be times that they will need to get gas later, or may break down or whatever.  I would love to hear how the class goes and what she learns!

Photobucket
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Fri, 02-01-2013 - 3:42pm

Good question and I'm not sure I know the answer I'm thinking if it were me and the gas station was well lit, other people around, etc. I would have told him I didn't have cash but would have offered to pay for $10 worth of gas or buy him a snack or something. I would definitely NOT have bought anything from him. I like to think the best of people and I believe most people are good; unfortunately it's the crazies out there that make it scary. And young people can be so idealistic and not yet have that 'radar' that we as middle aged adults do. The class sounds interesting but you don't want them so scared that they start yelling and hitting any person that tries to talk to them! Let us know how it goes.

Pam
Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 12:45am

Personal safety classes are great. When dd was in high school, we did a safety class and a car class. They were wonderful. My dd took a lot of martial arts, so she is pretty good in a fight.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-27-1998
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 9:11am

DH and I had a conversation about this very thing yesterday. We're thinking about enrolling our DD in a self-defense class this summer, as she will be going off to college next fall.

I think your DD did the right thing in terms of personal safety. She gave the man what he wanted, did not antagonize him, and got him off her back quickly. It was well worth the loss of the $7. In our state, sitting in the car while filling a tank isn't even an option. All of the levers that leave the pump running while you sit in your car have been removed by the state because of the theoretical risk of shock. So you have to stand out there and hold the pump even if it's 20 degrees and windy, and there's some perv who wants to harrass you.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-16-1999
Sat, 02-02-2013 - 9:29pm

Our high school had a self defense/personal safety program about every other year for ,most of the years my kids were there. I think its money well spent but the program was one of the things that was cut with budget cuts. I agree that teens don't have a well developed sixth sense, but I also think they think they're invincible. Its good for parents to have that conversation not only with their daughters but also with their sons.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-1999
Tue, 02-05-2013 - 6:54pm

It's weird timing for me on this one.  My *nephew* posted a couple of days ago that he was robbed.  He was alone, probably pretty late at night, in Vegas.  He was paying for a "lady's" gas.  Then he was walking her to her hotel so she'd be safe.  Six women robbed him!  Now I don't have any details because he was basically venting on facebook, and then later deleted the post.  He was so devastated, because he was just trying to be kind to someone that he felt needed help.  They told him to shut up because he was a white man and he could afford it.  (He can't--he's a starving artist type.)  

Anyway, he's 28 and male, and he wasn't safe.  I'm not trying to scare anyone, but he definitely is the type to see the best in people and not be afraid of most situations.  I don't know how we get our young women to be careful and more aware without scaring the bejeebers out of them!

I would definitely say that they should gas up at a familiar, well-lit station, and during daylight hours as much as possible.  Also, if they are with a friend, wherever they may be, that usually is a better situation.

Janet

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-22-1999
Tue, 02-05-2013 - 6:54pm

It's weird timing for me on this one.  My *nephew* posted a couple of days ago that he was robbed.  He was alone, probably pretty late at night, in Vegas.  He was paying for a "lady's" gas.  Then he was walking her to her hotel so she'd be safe.  Six women robbed him!  Now I don't have any details because he was basically venting on facebook, and then later deleted the post.  He was so devastated, because he was just trying to be kind to someone that he felt needed help.  They told him to shut up because he was a white man and he could afford it.  (He can't--he's a starving artist type.)  

Anyway, he's 28 and male, and he wasn't safe.  I'm not trying to scare anyone, but he definitely is the type to see the best in people and not be afraid of most situations.  I don't know how we get our young women to be careful and more aware without scaring the bejeebers out of them!

I would definitely say that they should gas up at a familiar, well-lit station, and during daylight hours as much as possible.  Also, if they are with a friend, wherever they may be, that usually is a better situation.

Janet

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Wed, 02-06-2013 - 10:15pm

Years ago on the way to work, I stopped at a filling station where a guy hit me up for money and I turned him down. After I pulled out I went across the street to take care of some things I noticed a coworker giving the same guy some money. When I got to the office I was telling that story to another coworker who said, “Oh that’s Bruce. He’s a real Christian!” WOW, that spoke volumes about Bruce vs. me. And it speaks volumes about your daughter also. Congrats to her and her parents!

I think that children and teens are much like us in that we find it hard to mistrust others, but as we age we pick up the wisdom of our experiences and the experience of others that make us much more wary of these situations. I think it’s a good idea to have the teens hear from the experts on the subject and I think it’s good for the parents to have a conversation about how some people are dangerous to get near to.

In college, the university had meetings for the girl’s dorm in which the campus police went over personal security. I recall the officers warning about being observant about your surroundings and not finding yourself in places with risk involved. Things like staying out of frat houses, walking around alone, parking in areas without people around, etcetera. Go in groups, park on the busy side of the mall; don’t park on dark streets or alleys, don’t get in the car with some dude you met at the bar and know nothing about. Buy your gas and stop at the ATM machine during daytime hours. Carry mace in your purse and another one or two in your pantyhose, and blow off one or two to see how they work. Carry and use personal sound alarms. NEVER NEVER NEVER go willingly with an attacker to a secondary crime scene as those are KILLING ZONES that very few survive. Better to risk death on the mall parking lot than going to a more certain death at the KILLING ZONE. There is no more deadly real estate on the planet than that secondary crime scene.

I would also add that it is better to have your car, iphone, ipod, cash and everything else stolen than to lose your life defending them. Several times a year I read about some kid getting killed trying to keep his ipod or iphone from being stolen.