How to be Streetwise



Good morning my Minette

Minette by the pool

How to be Streetwise

How are you doing, my dear?

Seeing a little toddler almost run over by a car yesterday is the inspiration to write this letter. Teaching your children to be aware of all the dangers outside the house, and how to be streetwise to protect themselves is one of the duties of a parent.


How to be Streetwise, Crossing Zone, Caution


Let us delve today into the safety of our children on the street. Teach them the road signs and what it means is the first step. Point out the dangers. Being streetwise have different angles, but basically, it means to always be prepared. With all the kidnapping of children around the world, one can never be too safe.


How to be streetwise is just as important as good manners. Your child learns all the valuable lessons from their own experiences, it gives them the confidence to be street smart. Teach your child of any age how to deal with harsh realities. Let them come up with a solution and guide them to the safe way of being a smart person.


Streetwise is the slang word for Situational Intelligence. Teach your child how to be prepared in any situation.  Being streetwise is to teach them the ability to gather information about their surroundings in a certain situation and make fast clear decisions for safety.


How Can I Help You

How to be Streetwise

The proper name to describe being streetwise, my dear is Situational Intelligence and the definition is:

Situational Intelligence is the capacity to evaluate a situation and then respond efficiently.


Responsibilities of a Parent

One Step Ahead

Always be one step ahead by observing and knowing more than those around you. We all live in a world where everyone is a part of the rat race and trying their best to emerge as the winner.


The society we live in input all the emphasis on academics, you have to be book smart, but in the real world streetwise is the practical side of life. To be street smart is just as important as being book smart, teaching you, child, to have a healthy balance between the two.


As a parent you can’t always be with your child, especially when they grow older, therefore it is crucial to teach them awareness in public, to be able to stay safe.


Streetwise means to be resourceful and smart in the choices you make. When walking out the front gate there are so many dangers that lurk around the corner.


Let’s see what is it we as parents can do to make our children aware and safe.


Firstly teach your child to trust their instincts. When something feels wrong it probably is.


How to be Streetwise Children, Exploring, Looking, Kids, Play


Never overprotect or over-scheduled your child. I know, we love them so much and we want to brace them from all evil. This is a huge mistake, teaching them from an early age to fend for themselves, is the way to go.

Armour them with the knowledge of how to behave and what to do in a time of danger, it is our duty and responsibility my dear lady.


Controlling your child by telling them continuously what to do and how to do it, damage their self-esteem and confidence. They might fall easy prey to child molesters or get kidnapped. Teach them how to toughen up and be able to say No.


Build your child’s self-worth by letting them do their own thing, let them gain their own experiences. Talk about the possibility of different situations, of danger they can get into. Discuss it and challenge them to come up with a solution.


Guide them to make the best choices and how to take action the correct safe way. In the long run, they will learn and get confident.

As an example, after a discussion goes to the shop with them. Let them do their excursion, select a sweet and go and pay for it with you watching in the background, stay close.

Afterwards, ask them what have they noticed, the people around them and the colour of their clothes, and what actions were there.

 Soon they will have the confidence,  and know what to expect and know what to do.


How to be Streetwise Two girls inside a market.


Making them aware of paying attention to their surroundings, observing and being able to separate the good from the bad. There are only two kinds of people in the world, Victims and Victors, teach your child to be a Victor.


Walking Alone

Give attention to your surroundings, who are on your radar. Who walks in front of you and who is behind you, what is a person’s body language and how do they behave?


Stay alert, be aware of movements, who does what, and observe and doubt everything and everybody. Do not get distracted by anyone, especially at the ATM. Never go alone, have a friend with you.


Recognise a situation and weigh the circumstances up. Teach them the options of what can happen in the situation. What actions to take and what the consequences will be?


Never stroll when alone in the street, always walk with a purpose and a mission. Walk and stand tall, and make quick eye contact with the people around you. The perpetrator will then realise you have noticed him.


Walk close to the road on the pavement, away from any buildings or alleys.


When walking down a street or a road, walk facing the oncoming traffic and see what is approaching you. If you feel you are being followed, cross the street safely or turn around and walk in the opposite direction. Walking into a store and asking for assistance is another way to stay safe.


When you are being followed by a car, memorise or write down their number plate and change direction.

 How to be Streetwise. Burglar, Burglary, Surveillance Camera

Remember what the suspicious person looked like, any marks on his face or arms and what clothes did they wear, be specific, for instance, faded denim pants, a red t-shirt, or well-worn sneakers.


Benefits of Being Streetwise

For Older Children


With good observational skills, it is easy to distinguish what is going on around you and can make better judgements in the situation.


Situational Intelligence and Emotional Intelligence go hand in hand. It is a good combination, you will be able to recognise a situation and then stand up for yourself or get away.

A streetwise person will always be alert but have the judgement not to panic or freak out. They will know how to handle the situation and what to do in a split second.


If you have a very suspicious mind, it will make you a good judge of character. How a person behaves, talks and interacts will tell you what kind of person they are. Then there is still the gut feeling that will keep you safe.


With this knowledge, you will find it easy to navigate your way in a strange place and city. You will find, that many solo travellers are streetwise people.


How to be Streetwise Travel, Solo Travel, Traveller, Girl


Having the ability to be a good judge of character, helps to make new friends easy.


Being attentive and alert does make you aware and not an easy target for criminals.


Being able to take care of yourself makes you streetwise and your self-esteem is high, therefore you have your own opinions and are not dependent on others. When you talk, people listen, because you know what you are talking about.


The practical experiences you gain will make you wise and you will know how something should be done.


You develop an outgoing personality, make many friends and know many people. Contacts are always a valuable asset.


No one can pull wool over your eyes, you are wide awake and will bargain your way to get good deals. Nobody will take you for granted.


To beat the situation, you must be able to outsmart the rest and have a street-smart understanding of the way the world around you works. In other words, prepare your child, teach them to be one step ahead, act first and know a little more. Naivety is detrimental on the streets.


Streetwise people are more open to taking risks. Pushing your boundaries and taking a risk is a healthy practice. For instance, if you do not like your job, would you stay on just because there are risks involved in leaving it?

Or would you brace yourself and quit, choosing to deal with the problems as they come? Being streetwise will give you the courage to face any problem.


Overcoming difficulties is not a problem that will stop a streetwise person. A street-smart person possesses the valuable skill of finding a solution to almost every problem and only experience can teach you that.

Most of the time these solutions are very creative. Street smart people can get out of even the stickiest of situations.




I hope with this letter it is clear how important it is to train your child from a young age until they leave the home to become streetwise. Teach them to be independent.


This is your responsibility too. It is just as important as feeding and clothing them.


Get them out of their comfort zone and help them to gain the necessary experiences while still at home. Make it an adventure. They will always be grateful for all the life skills you have taught them.


As a parent, you only have 18 years to lay the foundation for your future. The first five years are the most important to build character and the rest falls into the streetwise category.


Help them to build a strong steadfast character and personality for a happy and successful life. Listen to what they want and then guide and assist the best you can.


Until next time, stay safe my lady.


Picture of Estelle

 Mom Estelle

Be a Fabulous, Feisty and Fearless Lady.


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11 Comments on “How to be Streetwise”

  1. Being street is wise to teach our children how to be safe while acting in real-life situations, walking home can be one of them as you mentioned above. We are teaching our kids to make wise decisions in a quick manner. Preparing our children for what life holds is smart, interacting and letting them know not to be afraid when the time comes.
    We respect what you are trying to do for the safety of the kids and parents in trusting and building a relationship with them the bond will be more respected and have meaning between us and the kids.
    We think that everyone should be doing this more now than ever.


    1. It is so important for kids to learn to be streetwise safe, it is every parent’s responsibility to be involved.
      Thank you for teaching your kids, they are privileged to have you as parents!
      Thank you for your comment.
      Much appreciated!

  2. Hi Estelle – You make some really great points in how to teach your kid(s) to be streetwise. One that really resonated for me was making them be aware of their surroundings at all times. Especially in today’s society, being aware of one’s surroundings and is extremely important. Unfortunately, there are so many distractions and things that vie for our attention that its easy to lose focus. But by teaching your kids, as well as yourself, about the importance of knowing your surroundings and what to look for can really give them the knowledge and confidence to handle a variety of situations. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and giving folks some tips on how to teach kids to be streetwise.

    1. Hi Dereck, Awareness is so important but so neglected. most people go blindly through life.
      I can still remember driving in the car with my parents, my dad used to ask me after we have passed a notice board, what was written on it or the number plate of a car passing. It is small things that come in handy later in life. Reading body language and behaviour is so important, no one can afford to go oblivious through life, your life is at stake!
      Thank you for a very encouraging comment I appreciate it!

      So sorry for the late reply but a lot of things happened together. As we say, life just happened.

  3. I always trust my gut feeling. Although I didn’t have a safe and loving upbringing at home I was still naive when I left home. My father always controlled me, told me what to do and if I didn’t do it there was hell to pay. But I learned to be streetwise after I left home, by personal experiences on the street and I also got tips from streetwise people, tips I never forgot. I consider myself very streetwise now, and I agree that it’s essential to teach our children that. I am a teacher and I often see how my students live in a protective bubble. They are rich kids in a private school and the majority of them have never even seen how the people in poor areas live. Their afternoon schedules are packed with extracurricular activities, and I don’t think they’re streetwise at all, they’re going to have to learn once they leave home.

    1. Thank you for sharing part of you, it is much appreciated!
      I too lived a very protected life and it is 50/50 … on the one side I had the most wonderful loving childhood anyone can dream of but on the other hand I was never tought to be streetwise and could not fend for myself. I always hide in the background and missed out on a lot in life hahaha!

      Is it possible that some parents try to get a way from the responsibility of teaching your children the lessons of life by giving just money instead of loving care? You know first hand.

      When giving them too much, life becomes too easy. You are taking away their initiative to develop the skill to invent.
      Thank you for an inspiring comment.
      Take care.

  4. Wow. This is an interesting and unique article. It actually reminded me of having to be hyper vigilant in the crazy, violent home I lived in. So when you say always be alert to your surroundings so that you can make clear decisions on how to be safe, it reminded me how I could never put my guard down. Still, this is great advice. There’s a balance we all have to have – not to be lulled into a sense of safety – which is easy to do when you live in a “safe” neighborhood, and not being so hypervigilant that you can’t enjoy your surroundings. Thanks for the great tips.

    1. Hi Shalisha, thank you for sharing I value it.
      I have a very good friend that says always be aware and never trust anybody … not even your shadow!
      It is hard to think how life has changed from the time we grew up.
      A child should never be overly protected … they have to make mistakes and find a better way of doing, it is the only way to learn the best skills.
      Thanks for a great comment.

    2. Hi Shalisha, whether the circumstances or situation are safe or not, it is always wise to be aware of what is going on around you. When you are on guard and have a plan in your mind how to counterbalance, you will be in control.
      People with different experiences is much more prepared in life than the protected ones.
      Thank you for a motivating comment!

  5. Wow, Estelle! Yes, it is so important, I tell you.
    At this time, I feel kids are so in danger. Evil sits on the lure.
    When I was a child, I remember dreaming a lot and strolling in Nature alone. I have never been afraid and walked for the half-day alone, lying in the grass and discovering so many new things. But today is an entirely different time. Children need to learn to be aware of their surroundings and be careful! If I had small children, I think I would be in worry, for sure. It might be good to teach them an Asian fighting method like kungfu or carate. It gives them self-confidence and strength! Excellent article, Estelle! Something to think of!

    1. Thank you for a very motivating comment!
      It is a brilliant idea for them to take up a marshal arts sport … it will give them confidence and boost their self-esteem too, will add it to my article, thank you.
      Take care!

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