When children walk out the door for the day many parents can’t help but worry. Some parents are especially worried about strangers approaching their children. Teaching children about safety and being cautious around strangers can help parents to feel more confident when the kids are out of their sight. The following looks at the concept of stranger danger and offers parents and their kids tips on staying safe.
Teaching Children about Stranger Danger
Parents have the significant responsibility of teaching their children to be cautious without causing them to become unreasonably fearful. It’s important for parents to teach their children to be aware of their environment. For instance, if a child is playing in the park with a friend, parents should teach him or her to take note of anyone else who is in the area. Also, parents must teach children to use caution when a person they don’t know approaches them. For instance, if a stranger offers them something to eat or drink, children should know to refuse the item. Furthermore, if a stranger begins asking a child questions, he or she should be taught to leave the area. A child should know that he or she is under no obligation to answer questions or take items from a stranger.
An important aspect of teaching children about safety is to emphasize that a child should pay attention to his or her feelings. If a person is making a child feel uncomfortable or uneasy, then he or she should leave the situation. A lesson in personal boundaries is also appropriate. A child must be taught never to stay in a situation where his or her personal boundaries are being violated. In short, if parents talk plainly to their children about using caution around strangers, they are teaching their children how to deal with situations of uncertainty.Who are Strangers?
If a parent asks a child who a stranger is, he or she may describe a creepy-looking person or even a villain in a cartoon. This is an opportunity for parents to convey to their kids that a stranger can have any type of appearance. A stranger can be a woman or a man. Strangers can dress in nice clothes and have a neat appearance. Children should focus less on appearance and concentrate on the fact that a stranger is someone they don’t know.
Some kids are naturally polite and this can work against them in a situation with a stranger. For instance, a stranger may drive up beside a child who is walking on a sidewalk and ask the child for directions to a particular street or shop. A child who is polite may feel it is rude to just hurry away. This is where parents must assure children that it’s not rude to walk away from a stranger who approaches them in a car. The child is looking out for his or her own safety. An adult never needs to ask a child for directions.Stranger Danger-Tips and Strategies
Parents who are always aware of the schedules of their children are helping to keep them safe. It’s a wise idea for children to call their parents once they reach a destination like a friend’s house. If parents stay in contact with their children they can better monitor where they are and what they are doing. Parents who teach their children about strangers and staying safe are giving their kids the tools to deal with uncertain, potentially dangerous situations.
Here are some other tips to keep kids safe from strangers:
- Kids must never accept candy or other gifts from strangers.
- Do not get into a stranger’s car or go anywhere with him or her.
- Kids should find a police officer or go into a store to ask for help from the manager if a stranger is following them.
- Never answer a stranger’s questions even if they seem nice.
- Kids should never go up to a stranger’s car.
- Kids should never tell a person on the telephone that they are home alone.
- Kids should never answer the door for someone they do not know.
Here are some valuable resources to help keep kids safe from strangers:
- Tips for Parents on Teaching Children about Strangers (PDF)
- Help for Parents in Protecting Their Children
- Keeping a Child Safe
- Helpful Tips for Parents for Keeping a Child Safe
- Safety Reminders for Parents to Share with Kids
- Answering the Question: Who Are Strangers?
- Safety Rules for Kids Regarding Strangers (PDF)
- Safety Tips for Kids Concerning Strangers and More
- Safety Facts for Kids
- A List of Safety Tips Related to Strangers
- Advice on Keeping Kids Safe from Strangers
- Safety Ideas for Kids Concerning Strangers
- Teaching Kids How to Be Safe
- Guide to Stranger Danger (PDF)
- Helpful Safety Tips for Kids
- Different Scenarios and Keeping Kids Safe
- Safety Checklist for Kids Regarding Strangers
- Information about Kids and Strangers Online(PDF)
- Guidelines for Kids on How to Keep Safe
- Information for Parents on Strangers and Keeping Their Kids Safe
Special thanks to Rebecca, a student in Virginia for finding this valuable information and sending it our way!