Teaching kids to be sociable in a hostile environment is a Herculean task that needs strategy and careful implementation. How could you do this seemingly impossible task?
Here are simple but effective ways to accomplish this task successfully.
Inculcate in your kids’ minds that good people are still the majority
You would not want your kid cowering in his room because of the crimes and hostility that he reads and hears. You have to explain that majority of humanity is still composed of good and non-hostile people like you and him; that there are many people still out there who are peaceful and are ready to lend a helping hand. Recount stories of were peacemakers like Benjamin Franklin, Martin Luther King Jr., the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, and Mohandas Gandhi who made the world a more peaceful place to live in
Encourage them to socialize but discuss the dangers they may encounter
Fear is not a good thing when it paralyzes your children to stay indoors and be less productive. Not knowing the dangers could cause fear in your children preventing them to socialize. To solve this you should discuss the dangers they could be up against. You can let them read the news or you could explain them yourselves. The latter is preferable because you could answer if they have questions. Discuss the various methods criminals would employ to lure their victims. When they are familiar with these various situations, they would feel more confident and would be able to socialize more.
Provide them opportunities to interact but teach them how to assess situations
As much as possible, provide them opportunities to interact by conducting social events at home or encouraging them to join socials outside of the house. Teach them, however, to assess situations. The old methods still apply such as: Don’t talk to strangers, scream for help, stay in populated areas, don’t stay late at night, and stay with a group if possible. During your discussion, you can simulate and assess if their responses are the best responses. People are oftentimes afraid of the unknown and if your kids know what to do during hostile situations, they would relax and socialize with their friends.
Enroll them in a self-defense class
Enrolling them in a self-defense class would reduce the propensity of them being fearful of their environment. They would acquire confidence if they know they could defend themselves from other people’s violence. This would allow them to socialize more with people and go out to make friends. It would also ease your anxiety of their safety if you know they could defend themselves well. These are simple ways that you could use to encourage your children to go out and socialize. You know that they are prepared mentally, physically and morally to find their niche in the sun in a relatively hostile environment.