We all see strangers every day; in stores, at the park, and in our neighborhoods. Parents can protect their children from dangerous strangers by teaching them about stranger safety, certain behaviors, and showing them what to look for. There is a line between teaching them to avoid all strangers, and being careful. If your child is lost, being bullied, or followed, sometimes they will need to look to a stranger for help. You can make these decisions easier for them by showing them whom to trust.
This blog will cover how to teach your younger children about strangers. This covers children ages 10 and younger. Teaching children to recognize and handle dangerous situations at a young age will not only keep them safe, but also prepare them as they get older . Help your children recognize the warning signs of suspicious behavior.
What Parents Can Do to Teach Stranger Safety:
One way to teach your children how to handle scary situations is with the phrase, “No, Go, Yell, Tell.” If in a dangerous situation, children should say no, run away, yell as loud as they can, and find a trusted adult to tell right away.
Here are a few possible scenarios to practice this method with your young children:
• A friendly stranger approaches your child in the park and asks for help finding their dog.
• A stranger asks if your child wants a ride home from school.
• A person who lives in your neighborhood, but to whom that the child has never spoken, invites your child into her house to visit.
• An adult your child knows says or does something that makes them feel uncomfortable.
• A stranger in a car asks your child for directions.
You can do more than teaching them methods to handling strangers. There are a few more ways parents can help:
• Know where your children are: If your children are under 10 years old, there is no reason to not know where they are at all times. Make it a rule that your children must ask permission or check in with you before going places.
• Assign safe places: Show your children safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go if they are in trouble.
• Teach your children to be assertive. Make sure they know to trust their instincts and that it’s okay to say no to an adult.
It’s important to help young children know how to stay safe . Teach them to trust their emotions and instincts. This is what will lay the groundwork for raising a child who can keep himself safe and be polite to strangers at the same time.