Tell Children to Find a Woman to Help them if They Get Lost!

Gavin de Becker’s Best Advice for a Lost Child

Last week an eight-year old boy was murdered in Brooklyn when he was allowed to walk home for the first time alone. Notable author Gavin de Becker explains there is no magic age that children are ready to walk home alone, but rather they should take The Test of Twelve to determine if a child is ready to walk to school or home alone.

The same expert, Gavin de Becker, recommends the following advice to teach kids who get lost.

Mr. de Becker says, “I don’t believe in teaching inflexible rules because it’s not possible to know if they’ll work in all situations. There is one rule, however, that enhances safety in most situations: Teach your child to go to a woman if she is lost.”

He continues, “Why? First, if your child selects a woman, it’s highly unlikely that the woman will be a sexual predator.”

“Next, a woman approached by a lost child asking for help is likely to stop whatever she is doing, get down to the kid’s eye level, commit to that child, and not rest until the child is safe,” says de Becker.

He continues, “A man approached by the same child might say, ‘’Head over there to the manager’s desk,’’ whereas a woman is most likely to get involved and stay involved.”

Mr. de Becker admits, “Is what I’ve said politically incorrect? Maybe so, but the luxury of not running for office is that I don’t care if it’s politically incorrect. The fact is that men in all cultures and at all ages and at all times in history are more violent than women – and facts are not political.”

Teaching kids, ‘If you are ever lost, go to a woman’ works because it’s practical (there will almost always be a woman around) and simple (easy to teach, easy to learn, easy to do),” explains de Becker.

“Finally, teaching children to choose someone rather than wait for someone to choose them will be a useful lesson their whole lives. It’s the same advice I give to adult women.”


  1. Pretty shocking and probably not politically correct but it makes sense actually. I will be checking out his books! How do we recommend this to the parents without sounding pushy? They think I am overly safety conscious already.

  2. Imani it won't be bad to give the parents the book. I remember him from Oprah's "tell it like it is" guests and I'm thankful for his skills. I first recall seeing de Becker on Oprah a few years ago after he wrote his first book, "The Gift of Fear." He discussed the fact that we all have the innate gift of intuition and many of us cast it aside.I believe it was devine intervention that had me tuned in the day de Becker returned to discuss his new book for parents, "Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane)." Allowing kids to play outside alone can be scary when you consider all that could possibly happen to them. Gavin de Becker understands this and gives parents the tools to help their children deal with situations that may arise. Mr. de Becker's theories about child safety are not always main stream. The belief in allowing children to talk to strangers with a parent close by so they can develop their own opinions about folks they don't know and tap into their intuition. Sounds a bit scary at first, but he gives valid points for this and each of his theories and I'm a believer in what he says.Imani, ask the parents before letting kids speak to "safe strangers" but giving them the book is fine.

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