Traveling With Children In Crowded Places = Stranger Danger

When our moms used to take us anywhere, they would always hold our hand and remind us never to talk to strangers. Today, it is even more important to talk to your children about how to deal with strangers.

One of the best ways to introduce this subject is to talk to your children in a way that will not scare them or make them frightened of others. To explain the meaning of the word, that not all people are bad, and that you want to give them the tools they need to protect themselves in case a stranger approaches.

Some of the basic rules we were taught as children is to avoid getting into a car with someone you don’t know; if a stranger asks for help, walk away; never accept candy or any other gift from a stranger; if a stranger makes you feel funny inside, find a parent or adult immediately.

These basic instructions have advanced over the years since there are many more strangers who prey on young children. These individuals can accost children on their way to school, on a bus, in the subway, in bathrooms, in department stores, in supermarkets, or anywhere the child may seem available and vulnerable. It is necessary to point out that a stranger may use different tactics to get the child’s attention.

No matter how young your child is, you can teach them how to use good judgment by asking questions in a game-like format. Ask questions using different scenarios and see how the children respond. Offer advice if their answers are contrary to what they need to accomplish.

Here is one of the techniques widely used today if a stranger approaches a child for any reason and the child feels threatened: he or she should scream the word NO as loudly as possible, then run away and find a parent, teacher, or an adult who is known to the child.

Utilizing different scenarios can help the child understand why some strangers may be harmful and the means by which the child can affect a positive outcome.

But the main point that should be stressed is that adults should always listen to a child, especially if they have encountered a stranger. Let the children know the actions taken were proper and necessary.

If your children have been bothered by a stranger and taken appropriate action, praise them and reaffirm they are safe. This will alleviate any fears they may have and will empower them to talk to you if a situation like that happens again.

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