Hi there I am probably coming over as a bit neurotic but my eldest DC (boy, just turned 4 in the summer) is a very chatty boy to strangers. He also no longer sits in the shopping trolley (or buggy) and can be seen running ahead of me at Tesco's or shopping centre.
I had a bit of a fear yesterday as I was chip and pinning our bill and I turned around and I couldn't see him. After a few seconds of shouting his name (with my heart thudding like mad) he peered round the corner of another till and came back to me.
It dawned on me how he doesn't know about not taking off with strangers or that adults shouldn't do inappropriate things etc.
How does one go about this? Is he still too young? He is starting reception in the next week so not sure if it is something brought up there too (he'll be going over to people's homes for playdates, school trips etc all without me or DH)?
I don't think you want to frighten him.("Don't move away from mummy or you will be taken" sounds like the stuff of nightmares). I always explained that most people are nice but that you have to be careful because not everyone is nice. I had basic rules such as you never take sweets from someone you don't know and you never go anywhere with them. I made sure that they knew what to do if lost e.g. in a shop find a security guard or shop assistant. If all else fails find a woman with children and ask for help. You never have to do anything you don't want to, and don't be frightened to make a big noise. My DS got lost in a department store when he was 5 and just as I missed him an announcement came over the loud speaker calling my name-he had followed instructions. At 4 yrs he needs rules as to where he can go and not go-e.g. if you are at a cash machine he needs to be by your side.