Thanks to the parents who responded to the “Stranger Danger Scenario” blog. The parents have brought up some valid points. To have parent feedback is so important in these situations, as it is important to be careful and inform your kids, but at the same time avoid becoming overly protective.
Shiela, our Kinderlime reader, brought up key items to remember when discussing stranger danger with children. HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR CHILDREN. Remember to inform your children, tell them to be careful in certain situations, keep an eye on their parents, and tell them to follow their instincts if they don’t feel safe. In addition, as Lavanya, another avid Kinderlime blogger, mentioned parents must watch their children as much as possible. Due to the recent tragic situation of a driver backing into a child on a scooter, it is also important to inform children to stay away from playing on the sidewalk or other dangerous situations.
It is up to us together to keep an eye on shifty situations in the community. Modern Family mom, Claire Dunphy, ran for city council because there was a reckless driver who drove over the speed limit and she wouldn’t stop till speed bumps were enforced on the street. An example, if something that catches your eye don’t be afraid to take action and spread awareness of it!
As far as just concentrating on Stranger Danger…..warning children is important, yet should not be exaggerated to escalate mistrust. Start with using a simple explanation, “there are some really bad people out there who want to hurt children, therefore it is very very important that you never….”
- Talk to strangers
- Open the door when someone is knocking or ringing on the bell
- Go outside without mommy or daddy
- Go with a stranger who gives you candy, wants to show you something, or can’t find his dog
- Approach a strange car, even if they know mom’s name or your name
Also, you can keep a secret word only a trusted adult in the child’s life would know. Have the child practice asking, “What’s the secret word?” if they don’t trust an adult. Make the word unused in normal conversation and keep something between you/another trusted adult and your child.
Below is a compilation of feedback we got from parents on certain situations. If you have any questions, concerns feel free to post!
SCENARIOS – Feedback from parents
1. Kid sees a stranger in a park and stranger interacts with the child, how does one teach the kid about taking precaution and noting suspicious behavior? Let your child know not to speak to strangers especially when their parents aren’t around. If they do something that doesn’t feel right, notify an adult that you know right away.
2. Your child is playing on the side walk and a car drives by over the speed limit, how would you warn your child ahead of time? Let the child know to be especially careful when playing on a side walk because a ball can roll into the street and they could get hurt if they don’t look where they are going. Please keep kids especially preschoolers away from playing the sidewalk. It is too dangerous.
3. In case your child wanders while you are in the mall, how do you avoid the child wandering and what can you teach your child if that happens? Tell the child to stay within a radius that you can still see the child. If they want to go to another store, let the parent know.
4. If your child feels scared of someone, in what ways can you enbolden a child to trust their instincts? If you ever feel uncomfortable around someone, walk away. It is better to be safe than be in a situation that feels awkward