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Stranger danger/personal contact(11 Posts)
How have you approched telling your children about being wary of strangers and about 'okay' and 'not okay' contact?
I've been putting off talking about this but I know we ought to deal with it somehow. I'm quite open about sex and reproduction and have no worries talking about those but I am so nervous about this.
My ds is 6 and is quite happy to talk to anyone about anything and I like that really bacause it is nice to have a friendly child but now he is getting older he will be spending more time in places I won't be able to supervise him (beavers, sports clubs etc).
Are there any books on the subject anyone can recomend, either for parents or to read with the child?
Don't know of any literature on the subject sorry, and tbh I can't even remember how we did it swith dd, I think we just had general talks about it saying
if you are out and babout and someone says hello, say hello back but carry on moving dont chit chat with them. Unless you know that it is someones mam, dad etc..
generally we have taught her to be wary of all strangers and told her if she ferels threatened go to a shop assistant (if at the shops) or knock on someones door... it is a hard subect really and you have really got me thinking about I I did it with DD and have I done it right.
I also think that kids generally have more sense than we give them credit re subjects like this. I let (and have done from her been school age) see the news re kidnapping etc then she asks questions and I answer them as best I can.
Sorry if this didn't help...
I was only thinking the other day (ds is 3) How on earth would he be able to identify a person in authority, a policeman even. Anyone is a yellow jacket or vest is a policeman (can read but not that well) Gone are the days when you would identify a policeman by his uniform easily. All these security companies and traffic folk seem to have similar outfits even I have to squint to check what they are. I find this very worrying.
The police do a couple of helpful booklets/storybooks that might be useful. I know that they're been in to ds1's nursery to talk about this.
Whilst it is not totally foolproof, ds1 has been told to find another mummy if he becomes lost for example. We sometimes make it into a bit of a competition when we're out (I give him the hypothetical situation and he points out the person whom he would approach for help). Ds1 is only 4 so he doesn't have that much freedom yet.
yes ds had policeman Geoff to his nursery and hasnt stopped going on about it. That role play in the street is a jolly good idea. However if i fall down the stairs or there is a fire he knows how to dial 999 and gives our address, that is quite funny to watch.
As an aside, do check the child protection policy for any clubs such as beavers etc. I was gobsmacked when I found out that, if in the (unlikely) event that my son was sexually abused by another child or adult during Sunday School, or other church activities, it was the official policy that the parents were not to be told, but the police and social services would be informed first.
It was assumed that if I had a "healthy" relationship with ds, then he would tell me anyway, and the policy was worded in that fashion to avoid alerting parents who may be abusers (or unwittingly let slip to other close family/firends who were abusers) .
Years ago, my 5 yr old dd was playing with 8 yr old friend near friend's house. They were approached by two men who invited them to go for a walk. My dd said she wasn't allowed to etc ... I didn't find out until half hour later when she casually mentioned it. I immediately went to see the friend's mum - she'd been behind her car so men hadn't seen her (about 20 yards away from children) - when they did, they'd scarpered pretty quick.
I called police (not as a 999 call), they took full description etc. Two lovely policewomen came to see both girls next day, told them how it was good not to have gone with men, that they must NEVER EVER go with someone unless mummy or daddy (or teacher or very very trusted friend of mummy) says they can. It's really hard to get this point across - if you tell your children all this, and then say "would you go with a lady if she said she had some kittens you could see, would you go?" Even my children gave the wrong answer.
School also got involved in talking to whole school about it, as dd had told her teacher she'd beeen a good girl not to go with men, and it made it a very real experience for all the children.
Not sure what the moral of this rambling tale is, because it probably isn't very helpful to anyone. I guess it made us talk much more openly to our 3 dds about the subject. We actually said that sometimes bad people liked doing bad things to other people, and might hurt them, and we didn't really hold back! In the cold light of day, what we said was probably scary, but having this incident happen brings it home.
The other advice I was given (all to do with abuse/bullying) was to tell your children from a very early age that they must ALWAYS tell mummy any secrets they know (unless it's a birthday present!) My dds have divulged all sorts of trivial secrets in the past, but it has also helped sort out minor problems.
"that they must NEVER EVER go with someone unless mummy or daddy (or teacher or very very trusted friend of mummy) says they can."
But that's a tricky one, what if they're lost and you're not there to tell them who to go with?
I also remember this case a month or so ago. That kid was really VERY lucky to be alive and it does make you wonder what we should tell them about being lost/strangers.
QofQ - hmmm, got to have a think about that one! We did actually lose dd (aged 3yrs) at a huge theme park for about half-an-hour. Was found by us being held by this poor bloke who was walking around looking for a hysterical mummy. My dd was very very traumatised, she was completely rigid in his arms, and it was a long time before she talked to me. I think she was in shock - in hindsight, she may have remembered our warnings given to her older sister, which maybe frightened her even more. You can't win! The poor bloke was only someone's daddy, but dd didn't know that.
We always told them that if they got lost, they should look for someone in a uniform, a lady with children (probably a mummy?) or even to go into a shop and tell someone who is working at a checkout that they're lost (even if they know that we're not in that shop). The more you think about these scenarios, the worse it gets!
Am just pleased that our children are past the age they need this advice now - we're at the not spiking your drinks/always use a condom stage ...
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