Episode 29: Empowering our Kids with Kindness – An Interview with Tracie Arlington

by | October 11, 2019

Episode 29: Empowering our Kids with Kindness – An Interview with Tracie Arlington

by | October 11, 2019

The Fresh Start Family Show
The Fresh Start Family Show
Episode 29: Empowering our Kids with Kindness - An Interview with Tracie Arlington


On today’s show, Wendy and Terry interview Tracie Arlington, the founder and lead instructor of Play It Safe Defense Inc. Tracie has her black belt in Tae Kwon Do and has been teaching self-defense courses since 1998 to women, teens and children. Play It Safe Defense has been taught to hundreds of thousands of children through Girl & Boy Scouts, after-school programs and school assemblies.

Tracie used her experience as a child empowerment coach to create a course that teaches children & teens self-defense to address three main areas: standing up to bullying (repetitive, constant, & targeted unkind/hurtful behavior), escaping a predator & preventing sexual assault.

In this episode Wendy, Terry, and Tracie discuss 5 ways that parents can empower their kids to shift out of the bully/victim mindset that has become so prevalent in today’s society:

  1. How to teach confidence & boundary setting to our kids
    • Model respectful assertiveness to your children
    • These skills can be taught even to children who are naturally shy
    • Confidence comes from eye contact & your smile
  2. Role playing is critical
    • We can write the script for our kids & then practice “comebacks” that are true to their character:
      1. Someone makes fun of their appearance: “Thanks, that’s good to know.”
      2. Someone makes fun of their abilities: “I might not be good yet, that’s why I’m practicing.”
      3. Most importantly, help the child process their hurt and/or scared feelings at home, where they are safe. If the issue involves a friend, encourage conflict resolution as well.
  3. Sassiness only escalates a confrontation
    • Delivery matters!
    • Bullying behavior can be shut down with kindness
  4. The victim mentality that keeps us in the victim role
    • When parents feel pity toward their child, the need to rescue their child, or want to fix the child’s problem/situation, they are functioning from a victim mentality
    • Children will become dependent on their parent and then they will also fall into this victim mentality
    • Empower your child to improve their own situation – the victim cycle must be broken!
  5. The power in using kind words
    • Verbal Karate: If someone “punches” you with a mean comment, you block it with kindness
    • Instead of rescuing or running away, help children build up their relationship skills & emotional literacy

Mentioned in this Episode:

Would you love a FREE guide to Bully Proof Your Kids?

In this free guide, Tracie Arlington will teach you: 
>> How to empower your kids with self-defense skills 
>> Power Protector strategies your kids can use to respond to mean kids (with firmness & kindness)
>> Conflict resolution steps to empower kids to stand up for themselves & work out differences together


To learn more about Tracie & Play It Safe Defense, click HERE.


Tracie is a mother of two sons and a strong advocate of child safety and self defense training. She has her black belt in Taekwondo, has been teaching self defense since 1998, and is a certified national instructor for the Women’s Self Defense Institute. In 2006 USA Freestyle Martial Arts voted her Instructor of the Year.

Tracie has conducted thousands of classes for colleges, high schools, local businesses, mother groups, children’s camps, places of worship, community centers, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, and teen groups. She also speaks regularly to mom groups and women’s organizations throughout San Diego County on the importance of learning self defense.

If you have a question, comment or a suggestion about today’s episode, or the podcast in general, send me an email at [email protected] or connect with me over on Facebook @freshstartfamily & Instagram @freshstartwendy.


Learn more about how Positive Parenting Curriculum can transform your life through these Fresh Start Family programs

Want to see what Positive Parenting looks like #IRL? I love to stay active on both Instagram & Facebook, giving you guys a glimpse into my real family life!