It’s an unfortunate fact that the world around us can be a scary place. And while we would like to always be there for our kids, this isn’t always possible. So take the chance to teach them how to avoid stranger danger while you can.
With that in mind, here’s seven ways to protect your child from strangers:
Once your child is old enough, one of the first skills they should be taught is to repeat their address and your contact number should an emergency arise. If they’re on a school tour and get separated from their class (it happens), they won’t be as distressed knowing how to contact mummy or daddy.
When you have multiple children screaming out bickering phrases like “She stole my jacket”, and “That’s my schoolbag”, labelling seems like a pretty obvious solution. But labels with children’s names written in big, colourful lettering can be a bad thing too. It gives harmful strangers an instant familiarity with your child – their name. Always label clothes, schoolbags and books on the inside of the item or use an identifying symbol to identify it without writing your child’s name.
Keep A Secret
While we all teach our children not to go off with people they don’t know, in some instances a stranger can be extremely convincing.
- “Don’t you remember me? I was at your house with mummy and daddy?”
- “Sure, I know your name, how would I know that?”
- “Something’s happened to mummy and daddy. I’m going to take you to them.”
Unfortunately, no matter how many times they have they’ve had the “Don’t talk to strangers” mantra drilled into them, it’s easy to succumb to the pressure that this adult has faced them with. One defence against this type of pressure is a secret word. A secret word acts as a way to prove whether or not a parent has sent this person. Children should be confident that anyone coming to collect them will know this word and if the adult doesn’t know it then your child should run away.
Time To Play
Safety tips and techniques will be useless if your child doesn’t feel confident enough to use them. Get into a role playing game with your child and run possible safety scenarios, having him or her practice their responses to strangers. It may feel somewhat silly in the beginning but if a dangerous situation should arise, they will be more confident about how to handle it thanks to their practice.
Don’t Judge A Book
One of the most harmful things we can teach our children about strangers is that they’re all scary and intimidating. Some of the most dangerous strangers appear friendly and harmless in the eyes of our little ones. Therefore, it’s important to teach them that the safety rules apply when dealing with ANYONE they don’t recognise or know.
Unfortunately, strangers aren’t just found on the street anymore. Everyday there’s new app founded on it’s ability to connect individuals to one another from all over the globe. As a parent, if you hope to monitor who your child is connecting with, you need to stay aware of the changing trends in social media. Furthermore, if you think technology isn’t a concern because your child doesn’t have a phone or laptop, remember, these apps can be accessed from multiple devices.