At some point, every parent realizes that they have to a talk with their child about stranger danger. They may be at the park with their child and see them walk up to a stranger and start petting their dog or wander over to a family and ask for a snack. Every circumstance may be unique to the parent and child, but the situations all have something in common. They open our eyes to the reality that out children incredibly trusting and that as parents it’s out duty to teach them about stranger danger since not everyone may have their best interests at heart.
Role play what your child should do in stranger danger situations. Go over “ what if: scenarios. For example, What if you are at the park and someone asks you if you want to walk their dog? Go over what they should do if a stranger should try to approach them. The Nation Crime Prevention Council recommends that parents teach children the phrase, No, Go, Yell, Tell. This mean that children should yell “NO” if approached by stranger, GO run away, YELL for help and then TELL an adult what happened right away.
Remember that the best way to keep your child safe is to know where they are at all times.
DO NOT list
• DO NOT answer the phone when parents are not home.
• DO NOT wander away from your family or group when you are in public places.
• DO NOT go anywhere with stranger ( even if they have a stuffed animal or promise you candy)
• DO NOT open the front door without a parent present.
If a stranger asks you for help ( like a directions)
• DO NOT stick around. Run away. Adults don’t need help from children.
The first thing you need to do is make sure that your child actually knows what a stranger is ( someone they don’t know). Children also need to know that there is such a thing as a “safe” adult. A safe stranger is someone that you’d ask for help if you needed it. These people are usually identified by their uniform and include police officers, firemen, doctor, etc… Other safe strangers are people you recognize from the community but don’t know, like friend’s parents. So, you might recognize Susan from school with her parents and ask them for help it you need it, even if you don’t necessarily have a close relationship with Susan’s parents.