Stranger Danger(6 Posts)
I'm a single boy with Daughter 8 & Son 6, I want to do a decent job of preparing them for the whole 'stranger' thing but I'm not sure where to get started on ..... Stranger Danger! Has anybody got any tips?
Don't overdo it. Stranger danger is less of an issue than someone you know and trust danger.
I would teach them about assertiveness and personal boundaries, i.e. not doing anything that makes them feel uncomfortable (this protects them from going with someone out of politeness when their gut says not to and from allowing unwanted physical advances). This means in practice, you don't make them kiss/cuddle someone when they don't want to. You don't tickle them, or allow anyone else to, when they've said no. You respect their privacy and let them feel safe and secure.
Thanks Lynda, that is very useful. So sit them down and talk about some of the issues. I was thinking of them being allowed to go to the local park and know how to interact with people when they are there. I used to play ut all the time when I was my daughters age.
You teach them that they can talk to anyone but never go with someone they don't know. Tell them that if their instinct says there is something a bit off about someone they don't have to talk to this person and may run away / towards someone they will feel safe with. I agree with Lynda - assertiveness and personal boundaries are very important.
I also used to go out and play as a kid, spent all day at the park with friends and never worried about strangers. I know these things do very occasionally happen, but it's important for kids to have some independence, so teaching them to cope with whatever is thrown at them will help you to feel ok about letting them loose.
A friend's dad tried it on when I was 12. Luckily it felt wrong and I was strong enough to refuse to do what he asked me to, even though I was worried that I was being rude. It turned out a close-ish relative had also molested someone else in my family of a similar age.
That's why, for me, personal boundaries are so important. Teaching me not to talk to strangers wouldn't have stopped this from happening. Having self confidence and knowing that it was ok to rebuff the advances of someone considered to be a friend prevented it and would also have helped if I'd been approached by a stranger.
There has been some great responses but I'd like to add my input as well. I very much agree with not talking Stranger Danger, a much more positive approach is Stranger Awareness, please see a blog bit.ly/1dZyx9A I wrote on the subject. Your child is unlikely to meet somebody who means them harm, so let's not scare them unnecessarily. Instead we need awareness and to make sure they know how to respond without thinking, you need to train them and refresh regularly.
You were looking for some structure to training, consider these steps to teach them:
1.Be aware of any people they don’t know, where are they, what are they doing
2.Keep a safe distance from strangers
3.If a stranger approaches make a clear (physical & verbal) signal that they do not want to talk to them
4.Make lots of noise and never give in if the stranger persists
5.Go to safety – Home, people they know who they are allowed to go to
6.Tell someone what has happened
There is an ever present threat of abduction by strangers, those people that say it's only friends or family that do bad things are wrong, the crime statistics don't back that up, please look at this blog bit.ly/1d1vDxp for the overview. Frightening, but luckily it's still small numbers, so much sure you teach your kids, don't scare them and refresh regularly.
I hope that helps, please check back on the blog for up-to-date help and advice.
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