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Introducing stranger danger and related topics

(11 Posts)
kateGB Thu 17-Sep-09 21:18:13

In responding to another thread I thought of something I would like advice on.

DD is 5 and very sheltered. I dont have the news on as there are things no 5 years olds should have to deal with. However I do believe she needs to know things as time goes by. We introduced the idea of stranger danger last school year when she went on a school trip. How do you move on from this to telling them that certain behaviour or actions from other people are not acceptable? IE, that no one should touch her 'down there' or, basically, protect her from abuse?

seeker Thu 17-Sep-09 21:31:14

I have never mentioned stranger danger to my children - I think it is a ridiculous concept. What I have said is that they never have to touch or be touched by anyone if they don't want to. (this can make life a bit difficult with elderly aunties, but hey ho) There is no need to go into specifics - just make sure she understands that she mustn't go off with anybody she doesn't know and that it's OK to say NO to grown ups.

kreecherlivesupstairs Fri 18-Sep-09 08:07:22

Tricky situation, I've tried to tell my dd (8.4) about strangers and not going in cars without me or my persmission,, but I don't want to put the wind up her. She is seldom alone anyway and TBH, she's lived with people thinking she is gorgeous from being a baby. She really stood out in Oman and thailand because she is blonde and very fair skinned. People in both countries would touch her hair and skin. She became very good, particularly in Bangkok at saying 'mai owh' when someone tried to take her photo.
I think you are wrong not to have the news on though, children of that age are not able to process what's happening. Our girl has only just begun to watch newsround before she goes to bed.

cory Fri 18-Sep-09 08:15:57

I don't think you are wrong not to have the news on: I would certainly have been mature enough to have been very worried at that age: I think it is better to introduce them to the nasties of the world gradually, through talking to them, rather than letting them see footage of people being burnt to cinders

agree with seeker, you can give them enough rules to keep them safe, without giving them tmi

Tee2072 Fri 18-Sep-09 08:26:30

I despise the term 'stranger danger'. Not all strangers are dangerous. In fact, most are not. She is more likely, sadly enough, to be hurt by someone both you and she know.

What you need to teach her, IMHO, is that it is okay to tell a grown up no, if they do something you do not like, and if a grown up does do something they do not like, they are to tell you immediately even if the grown up tells them not to. And that includes Great Aunt Agnes pinching her cheeks if she does not like it.

There was a story not that long ago about a little boy lost in the woods somewhere in America. He was lost much longer than necessary because when he heard people calling for him he hid, because they were strangers to him and his parents told him to never ever talk to strangers.

Acinonyx Fri 18-Sep-09 10:34:00

Agree with seeker and also think you quite right to the censor news. Dd heard soemething on the radio about 'a boy killed' and was thoroughly spooked. There are children's news programmes for that purpose.

mathanxiety Fri 18-Sep-09 19:19:51

Agree about telling children it's ok to say no, and would also reassure the DC that you will back the DC up and deal yourself with great aunt whatever if she gets in a snit about badly behaved children. Also agree with Tee about keeping secrets. I would also keep the news to a minimum. Do they ever have a talk about this kind of thing in school? All my DCs had a well-meaning stranger danger talk in school.

Tortington Fri 18-Sep-09 19:22:21

tell her her private areas are exactly that private. and tell her to wash her own bits even when you bath her

a good bit of advice i read - presuming you don't have a contrary child grin is to teach your child that should anyone they don't know take their hand and they don't want to go with them, to shout "this is not my mummy.daddy"

BooBooChicken Fri 18-Sep-09 19:27:22

i heard someone on tv the other day talking about your "swimming costume area" being private. i know its a bit coy as a description but it's easy for a wee one to understand.

kateGB Fri 18-Sep-09 20:17:44

Thanks all. some things to think about there.

DD is used to people talking to her or about her because of her 'striking' hair colour. She will talk to anyone who will listen. It was only when she was going on her school trip and I asked her what she would do if she needed a wee and someone who wasn't with her school said they would take and she replied " go with them" that I realised the full extent of her trusting nature.

I have told her that it's nice to say good morning to people on her way to school etc (and not to go to the loo with anyone!) but was just a bit stuck on approaching the next level.

I like the idea of introducing it whilst she is in the bath.

I dont know whether they do anything like this a school. I also have no memory of being told myself as a child. We just grew up knowing somehow not to accept sweets from stranger and "Charlie says".

Perhaps Cbeebies needs to bring back Charlie the cat !

kateGB Fri 18-Sep-09 20:20:52

Thanks all. some things to think about there.

DD is used to people talking to her or about her because of her 'striking' hair colour. She will talk to anyone who will listen. It was only when she was going on her school trip and I asked her what she would do if she needed a wee and someone who wasn't with her school said they would take her and she replied " go with them" that I realised the full extent of her trusting nature! (and her sheltered life!)

I have told her that it's nice to say good morning to people on her way to school etc (and not to go to the loo with anyone!) but was just a bit stuck on approaching the next level.

I like the idea of introducing it whilst she is in the bath.

I dont know whether they do anything like this a school. I also have no memory of being told myself as a child. We just grew up knowing somehow not to accept sweets from strangers and "Charlie says".

Perhaps Cbeebies needs to bring back Charlie the cat !

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