Do You Teach Your Kids To Never Answer The Door?

by | Dec 15, 2021

Never Answer The Door? But…


Having taught so many families violence prevention & self-defence, one topic that often comes up is whether a child or pre-teen should answer the door if they are alone at home. In my experience, about 95% of parents tell me they have taught their children to keep the doors locked and do not let anyone know they are home alone.
It makes sense, but I will ask, “what if, by chance, maybe low chance, the person at the door is looking to break into a home? What does not answering the door tell the person?” Foremost, I teach anyone to never blindly open the door unless they know and expect the person regardless of age. More on that, in this blog post, I wrote Top 6 Critical SAFE 101 Rules When a Stranger is at Your Door | Safe International
But does your child know what to do if the person scopes the property, perhaps looking for an entry point? Do they have the verbal strategies to address the person, maybe from a window higher up where they are safe? Do they have an exit plan if that makes the most sense? Have you spoken to your neighbours about any plans you have with your children?
I encourage parents to teach their kids from an early age options, not just one strategy like, “NEVER OPEN THE DOOR!” I often hear kids who tell me they have been taught to say to a stranger that, “My mother or father is just busy in the shower in hopes the person hanging around might leave thinking there is an adult in the house.
But what if the person at the front door has been watching the home? What if they know the child is alone and begins a dialogue with the child that puts pressure on them?
You might only look at this from the perspective of a stranger at the front door. Still, these are problem-solving skills, conflict resolution and verbal skills that will carry over into all areas of their life like the school environment with other kids, as they grow up into adulthood, different relationships.
A credible violence prevention and self-defence course teaches HOW TO DEVELOP CONFIDENCE about life’s challenges.
Want to see a sneak peek of all the topics we teach as part of our new online course, The Parental SAFEGUARD Plan To Achieving Peace of Mind? Just click here…
Keep SAFE!
Chris Roberts
Managing Director, SAFE International

In this self-defense video clip Richard Dimitri with the aid of Chris Roberts, founder of SAFE International discusses and demonstrates how to deal with being Pinned to the Ground.  Richard first points out the most vulnerable targets on the human body.  Self-defense targets that will debilitate an individual regardless of their size, strength, or if they are under the influence of any substances.  While there are no guarantees anything will be effective, striking the targets of the eyes and throat give you the highest chance of surviving.  Critical to mention that when one needs self-defense that their force must parallel the danger in the eyes of the law.  This video is for solely meant for educational and informational purposes..  One must educate themselves on the self-defense laws in their country.  

The Eyes – if a person can’t see, they are still dangerous, but will struggle to locate you if you are at a distance.  As Richard says, you may play Marco Polo with them, but not recommended lol!

The Throat – is a target one may target in a life and death scenario.  It is not a self-defense strike to use in a low level threat scenario.  The result of a throat strike could cause death.  Again, critical to understand the laws where you live.

Far too often, self-defense instructors teach to strike first, and ask questions later, but this is not an ethical, moral, or legal response to violence. High level self-defense strikes as stated in the video are for the worst-case scenarios. One should only utilize a high-level reaction like this if attempts to avoid, escape, or verbally defused have failed leaving only the option of self-defense.

Outside of the eyes and throat, the rest of the body contains secondary targets you may strike if you can’t reach the eyes or throat. In a worst-case scenario, you aim for those most vulnerable targets, but attacking the secondary targets may provide you the opportunity to access the primary targets. One may use ripping, tearing, clawing, biting, spitting, anything that either damages or creates distraction to get back to the primary targets.

Being pinned to the ground with both arms restrained is a common method adopted to control the victim. It is particularly common in a sexual assault scenario and applied to control and intimidate the victim. The attacker may seek for an opportunity to strike or remove clothing to continue their assault. While possible, the attacker may attempt a headbutt, but that is not likely their intention. To continue struggling against someone who is most likely bigger and stronger is futile and wastes a lot of valuable energy. And struggling may encourage the attacker to strike sooner, to stop you from struggling.

If the person removes their pin of an arm to strike, it is vital you strike back instantly and directly. If they release a hand to throw a punch, there may be a split-second when they pull back to strike you. This provides a small opportunity, but your reaction must be direct and without hesitation to put them on the defensive. Any pause in your defense will narrow your chances of survival.


Having education in grappling arts can help you in how to move on the ground, but understand the distinction between grappling and self-defense.  With little to no experience with violence, to think you can pull off armbars and other complicated grappling defenses is dangerous.  Many self-defense instructors teach all you need is leverage.  That advice is bullshit.  Leverage has its limits against someone who is bigger and stronger.  And remember, you are not defending against a “move”.  You are defending against the intention behind the attack. If their intention is rape, murder, jealousy, rage, etc that is much more difficult to defend against than any singular attack as you see on YouTube self-defense videos that show no realism in relation to violence.

Back to having your arms pinned.  The aggressor on top may say things that are disgusting and offensive.  They may lick or kiss the person with sexual assault, but while it may humiliate, it does not hurt.  Using conflict resolution skills here may be effective to lower the guard of the attacker.  Telling them what you can do for them as a strategy may cause them to relax their aggression or build a false sense of confidence dropping their guard.  Telling them what you can do for them is not compliance, but a strategy that may be used if you know they hope to rape you.  Psychology is often your best chance here.  If used, it may open up your defense. 

With being choked on the ground, while it is an a dangerous, frightening attack, both hands may be free in which case there is no time verbal talk.  you attack vulnerable targets as mentioned.


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Keep SAFE!

Chris Roberts

Founder, SAFE International