The other night, while driving home from the movies, my oldest daughter and I saw an electronic billboard on the side of the highway. The sign had been updated to say a child had been kidnapped in our home town of McKinney, Texas earlier in the day. The description of the car and license plate were also listed.
My daughter, age 13, asked why would someone kidnap a child. She was clearly rattled by the situation. Not that I could really blame her. It’s a horribly frightening scenario. I did my best to explain there are just crazy people out there, and sometimes you can’t predict what they’re going to do.
We continued the conversation by saying that’s one of the reasons why she’s learning Kenpo karate. It’s not only about learning discipline, or how to be a leader, or developing self-confidence. These are fantastic attributes, but self-defense is still the most important. We talk about self-defense a lot in terms of bullies at school. But against a larger, crazy opponent, learning to defend yourself might also be about buying yourself three seconds to escape and seek help.
These are tough thoughts for anyone to have to deal with, especially a kid. Luckily the kidnapped child was found unharmed. We do our best not to use scare tactics as a reason to learn in class. Sometimes life hands you the lesson, and we do our best to help everyone understand.