Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

How To Talk To Your Kids About Stranger Danger

A. Summary

Do you want to know how to talk to your kids about stranger danger? Well, that's what we're talking about in this article. I'm Nicholeen Peck and I teach parenting and communication and self-government and in this article, we're going to be talking about strangers.


I'm hoping to share some insights into how you can talk to your children about strangers and not get them too worried because I know that children sometimes get a little concerned when you start talking about strangers and parents have this fear. They're like I don't want my child to not trust people or to be so close that they never talk to anybody. 

Social Skill Development

I want them to develop good social skills and good communication skills but I want to keep them safe too. How do I do that? How do I not freak my child out and so that's what we're going to be talking about in this article and I have some insights that I think have not been shared before on this topic.

Build Communication

So you're going to want to stay with me till the end because I've got something that I'm going to be sharing with you that I think is going to give you a good gauge that you can share with your children so that they can have those communication skills developing talking to people but not putting themselves into danger. 

B. Importance Of Preparing Children For Danger

So you might think that talking to your children about strangers and about danger is just for when they're little. Now, of course, that is a time that we have to discuss it but we also need to talk to the older children about strangers and other people too. 

Reason

Let's just be real, we know this, we live in a time where child trafficking is a bigger problem than it probably ever has been before. I don't know if we've tracked it before but it's intense and we know it's a big deal. We know that there are more abductions and more attempts at abductions that are in the news and they're happening like no other time. 

The other day I was at a family reunion and one of the members of the family came up to me and said it's so good we're all together. Tell the kids to, you know, just kind of like stay around the family because there was an attempted abduction at this park just 2 days ago and I went oh my word, it's everywhere. 

Preparation

This kind of - I just keep hearing this kind of thing. Now, I don't know if you're like me but as a parent especially when my children were small, I really didn't want them out of my sights because I knew that even though there are a bunch of amazing people out there, there are also a lot of perverts, a lot of people who would take advantage of children and hurt children and so I needed to prepare my children. 

I was lucky because I did foster care for troubled teens when I had children who were still toddlers and a lot of the teens that came into my home had a history of being abused or maybe even being an abuser. 

Now, you're thinking how in the world is this lucky? It doesn't sound lucky at all but it was lucky for me and my children I felt like because at the very beginning, I had to create certain boundaries, have certain conversations with my children so that they would know how to keep themselves safe because we were going to have people in our home that we were helping.

Treatment

That I was doing treatment care for that possibly could be a danger. Now, luckily a good report, there was never any danger like that that happened to my children. We had very strict boundaries. My children had to stay with me all the time or the foster children had to be with me all the time, they could never be alone together, that was just how it was.

I mean we had teens and babies, they didn't need to ever be together anyway. No one was going to be babysitting my babies so, I focused on the treatment but that experience taught me that children are never too young to be prepared for how to keep themselves safe. 

C. How To Teach Children About Their Bodies

Experience

So, what I learned from that experience was that I needed to talk to my children about their bodies, okay, and about how their bodies were special. So, we said you have a really special body and there are certain parts of your body that we always keep covered up because they are very special and nobody ever gets to touch those parts of your body unless.

It's, you know, mommy or daddy or a doctor that is with mommy and daddy and are helping you because maybe you're sick or you have an owie or something like that but otherwise, you have to keep your body special, which means you can have a bubble around you. 

Give Attention

So, I told my little children you can have a bubble. So, mommy and daddy, you can come and cuddle and hug us and grandma and grandpa, you can give hugs and cuddles if you want to but for other people, you probably want to keep a safety bubble around you so that those people don't ever get a chance to touch your special body and if anyone tries to touch your special body and you don't want them to, then you can say no, right? You can tell them that they can say no and you can run away from that person. 

This is something that I had to teach my children to live in my home when they were teeny tiny. I'd say you have to stay with me, you have a special body, nobody ever gets to touch it, you can have a bubble around you and so then there were times were with the foster children, you know, they would maybe play games a little bit with me, with the other children so they would get the opportunity to bond and to have fun experiences with the younger children which I did know would be very therapeutic for them but my children were never at risk during this time. So, let's talk about when you don't know the person. 

Majority of Sexual Abuse

So, you do need to keep the children are safe when they know a person because sometimes abuse happens with somebody that they know. In fact, you do need to know that the majority of sexual abuse that happens to children actually occurs from peers, okay, from friends, not necessarily from adults.

In fact, there are people at the school and peers, school staff, and peers, those are some of the top 2 categories of people that actually sexually abuse children. Those people would usually be considered trusted by the children which is why you do need to talk about boundaries for keeping themselves safe, that they always need to stay with somebody even when they're talking to a teacher or an adult, they don't ever go and be with that person alone. 

Before I get to probably my most important points and an example conversation that you might want to have with your children, hit that subscribe button. There are so many things on this blog that are related to keeping parents in control, children in control creating good safe family bonds, and helping the children just generally succeed in life.

D. How To Talk To Your Kids About Stranger Danger

Vetting Process

So, before we will never do business with someone in business, we always go researching them, right, that's why a person turns in a resume because you have to vet the person a little bit that's going to be working for you. So, there is vetting the process that happens with our social interactions as well, or at least there always has been. 

Even on social media, we vet. I don't know if you've recognized yourself doing this but somebody might friend you and you don't know who they are and then you think well let's see, we have mutual friends, that person's also, friends with this person and we're kind of on the same page with things so maybe this person is a good person to get to know, maybe you know it's okay to be their friend on social media

This is the vetting process. So, children, have to have their people vetted too. They don't always know that though because they're very open they're just accepting of anyone, that's just how they are developmentally especially when they're young and it is our job as parents to vet the people that they are going to spend their time with. Think of how we vet television programs. We say nope, they can't watch that, nope they're not going to be on the screens for this much time because that's bad for them. 

Keep Them Safe

We vet all kinds of things so we've got to make sure that they understand that this is something we do to help keep them safe. So, you tell them so son, mommy does something called vetting, you know, or mommy checks people to make sure that they are the type of people that we want to spend time with and that we are going to feel are safe. And so now you got to be careful because you don't want the child to think oh no if we're not if mommy hasn't said that person's okay, they must be bad, right, so you're going to have to clear that up a little bit but you've got to keep it simple especially if they're small. 

Spend Your Time To Check

So, you would say so before we ever play with a friend at their house or before we have friends come over to our house, mom's going to probably want to meet their friends, we're probably going to want to learn something about they and we're going gonna check and this goes for adults and children. 

So, Mommy and daddy are gonna always check anybody that you would be allowed to spend your time with. So, this is an important thing that they need to recognize mommy and daddy have to check them. Has this person been checked by Mommy and daddy and so then what you need to do is you need to share there is a reason we check people and that's because even though we wish every person treated people nicely and loved and cared for little children in a good way, some people don't and they can be dangerous and they sometimes even hurt people and we don't ever want you to get hurt so we're always just gonna check and we will stay with you when you are with another adult every time. 

So, they need to know that too, that's just a boundary that you're gonna be with. Like as a woman, I would never get in a car with another married man and go on a big trip with them or something like that because that would be a boundary I just wouldn't cross. 

It wouldn't be considered appropriate in my mind for 2 people that are married to other people to be having this type of experience together, right? So, it's the same type of thing. It's not appropriate for a child to be having a relationship with another parent without their parent present, I mean unless it's grandma or somebody like that who you know is vetted, you know? So anyway, you need to tell them that you will check and that when they talk to other adults, you will be right there with them but as they get older

Grow And Learn

They will learn how to talk more with adults and sometimes may even end up with an opportunity later that they can learn how to talk to an adult without you standing right next to them. So, you could tell them as we grow and we learn, you'll learn how to do this for yourself but right now, I'm going to be helping you. So, this is an important thing that children need to know it's a service that parents render to their children to keep them safe. 

E. How To Teach Children To Avoid Dangerous People

Now, this is the one I've been waiting for. This is the one that I think the tip is gonna probably be something that most people have not thought about before. So, I taught my children that if they needed help from an adult and if they looked around the adults in the area like maybe they were lost in a store or something like that.

Pre-Teach

I would teach them, I would pre-teach them ahead of time you know if we were ever going into a store or an amusement park or something, look for a worker or look for a female worker or something like that. Like I would pre-teach them what to look for and where we would meet if we ever got disconnected from each other but also I would say if you don't see a worker then you look and see if you can pick out an adult that has other children with them and then you go ask them a question. 

Now, here's the thin. So, if they are asking a question to the other person, chances are the other person is not going to be a perpetrator or somebody they can't trust but if the adult comes to the child and asks questions, that should be a flag to the child, so that's a key thing I'm not sure people talk about so we prepare our children for success but we don't explain if you have to ask an adult a question, chances are that adult is probably not going to hurt you. 

Action

Keep your bubble keep safe but probably they're not going to hurt you because you're going to them for help. But if there is an adult or even another child that is coming in asking you to do something that you wouldn't normally do or an adult would not normally ask you that kind of a question, if they're asking you a question then you've got to say wait a minute. 

They are asking me something. I don't think I have to answer that. In fact, I can just say no, I'm not answering that and just get away if I want to. So, you've got to teach them it's okay to run away of course but this is the one thing- and when I made that difference in my young children's minds, they were like that makes sense because if a person wants to hurt me, they're going to try to get close to me and come ask me questions. Yes, that's right. Now, please make sure that you do explain that some children do actually hurt and perpetrate other children and this is why we have to keep our boundaries really secure. Some things are no answers. I do teach my children a skill called accepting a "no" answer. This really does help them understand that other people should be using that skill too and that they should be able to give that no and those "no" answers should be accepted. So, if you want to learn more about that, you can find more on my website but for right now,

Post a Comment for "How To Talk To Your Kids About Stranger Danger"