Talking to kids about stranger danger

@makingpots (11922)
United States
December 4, 2008 12:23pm CST
How do you discuss the topic of stranger danger with your children? I am learning that many parents take the reality route and actually scare their children into believing that all strangers could be intending them harm. My son is a very outgoing, friendly and trusting child. This is a very real danger for our family because we do believe my son would leave with someone 'to help them find their lost puppy' or something along those lines. I don't want to scare his sweet little personality out of him but I do know this is a very real concern in today's world. What do you do with your children concerning this? Does anyone know if there are good children's books about this? Please share anything you have about this topic...........
3 people like this
16 responses
@Shar19 (8236)
• United States
4 Dec 08
I told my kids that there are good and bad people out there. If a stranger comes up to them and wants them to leave with them, or give them candy, etc. they've been taught to say "no" and run to a neighbor's house or even yell for help if they're in danger. I think it's important to start teaching the children while they're young about the dangers out there in the world.
1 person likes this
@Raven7317 (693)
• United States
4 Dec 08
WOW! I'm so happy you posted this! I'm in the same boat with my son... He's almost 3 1/2 and he's the most gentle little soul I've ever met. He's very sweet, caring, friendly, curious... He'll talk to anyone! I've also wondered how to teach him without scaring him, without changing his personality. So far, I have only begun to repeat things to him like, "we don't talk to strangers, we don't know that person, only get into mommy's car, policemen/firemen are strangers, but it's okay to talk to them." I will continue to try to teach him this until he's older, and I know his preschool has stranger danger days. Also, I will teach him a code word when he's older. So he'll question anyone who tries to tell him "your mommy sent me to get you" or "I already asked your mommy and she said it was okay for you to come with me." I tell him, if you don't know the person's name, he/she is a stranger! What a tough concept! I hope I helped!
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Dec 08
I approached the same way I did with the "bad touching" conversations. Each morning as I got them ready for daycare we would talk about how much mommy loved them and would be so sad if she couldn't hug them and see them anymore. I would tell them about how not everyone is very nice and that they shoud never go anywhere with someone other than me, no matter what the person says. When they got to be school age we were able to go into specifics about how bad people will lie and that if I was going to have someone other than me(or acceptable family) get them from school that I would be the one to tell them about it. We discussed it almost daily and even just going to the store or the mall on weekends. The repetition seemed to work. We handled bad touching at bath times. Once they were to a point where they were being taught how to bathe themselves I would wash them all over except their privates. Then I would turn my back to give them a semblance of privacy while telling them how their privates are only for them. That no one should be touching them and if anyone tries to that they need to tell mommy or daddy right away. Thankfully that one has only come up at the doctor's office.
1 person likes this
@deebomb (15322)
• United States
4 Dec 08
Boy you have picked a very difficult topic to address. Stranger Danger is a topic that all parents need to talk with their children about. I helped raise my 2 grandkids and did talk to my granddaughter about it. She was and still is very out going and very trusting. We lived on a military installation and behind our house was a strip of woods. Some one in the neighbor hood told her that a stranger lived in those woods and he killed cats. That she could understand but telling her that the mail man was a stranger was a different story. She couldn't understand that the mail man was a stranger because we really didn't know him. We just knew who he was. I don't know of any books that would help. Kids forget what you teach them when it comes to some situations like the " help me find my lost puppy because they focus on the lost puppy not the fact that a stranger is asking for help. Maybe this web site would help http://www.kidpower.org/ARTICLES/safety-without-fear.html
@aprilsue00 (1992)
• United States
4 Dec 08
I always tell my children not to talk to strangers. I havent really done anything beyond that. I hope my children would never go anywere with someone they don't know. It probably is a good idea to do more research on this subject. I know that schools teach children a lot about this danger but I don't know how in depth the go.
@katsmeow1213 (29044)
• United States
4 Dec 08
With my kids it's usually covered in school. They have a police officer come in and tell the kids about who they can trust, and who they can't. They don't really get into the dangers of going with a stranger, they just tell the kids not to talk to strangers and if they're in trouble, go to a cop or another trusted adult. I think that's all they really need to know at a young age. Just to never talk to strangers when their parents aren't around, and never go somewhere with anyone without asking mom or dad first. The older they get, the more you can explain to them.
1 person likes this
@cupid74 (11394)
• Pakistan
6 Dec 08
Hi dear I think the best and simple way is to teach kids that not to go out without family members and sure dont talk and have some thing from strangers
• United States
6 Dec 08
I have an issue with this as well. My daughter had special needs and is very friendly and unable to distinguish a stranger from friend,Everyone's a friend to her. I would suggest the FBI website they have a lot of info on how to keep your children safe and to teach them stranger danger. I haven't visit it yet but my daughter habilitation specialist went and brought over a few things she got off of it including an easy to learn song and way to discuss the subject with your kids. My daughter loved the song and had it memorized within a day. I hope you find all the help you need with this serious subject!
• United States
5 Dec 08
ok, i am the last person to give child advice since i don't have any, but, it seems to me that the direct approach would be good. just phrase it in a way that he will understand and it won't scare him.tell him that when you or dad is with him talking to strangers is not a bad thing.but when he is out alone, which he shouldn't be, if anyone comes up to give candy or find something , to be on guard.now, i will tell you that JOHN WALSH from americas most wanted has a program especially for kids to keep them out of this sort of danger. just go to AMC.com. it should have a place on there that tells you about it.good luck, KUZZON1960
• India
5 Dec 08
i dont know because i dont have children
@myskina (182)
• China
5 Dec 08
perhaps your child is the next einstein who knows stranger maybe can exercise his communicative competence strange things maybe can ecercise his perceived competence in this world maybe not so much dangerous
@burnek (101)
• Philippines
5 Dec 08
Hi! I dont take any chances when it comes to my children. The danger is there. You can see it in the news. You're right. I kinda scare them to some extent. But I mostly teach them what to do in some case like avoiding secluded places and not going somewhere without a companion. And don't talk ever to a stranger. I'm sure it would'nt in any way affect his or her friendly personality. It's just one way of keeping them out of harm's way. Thanks.
@riyasam (16578)
• India
5 Dec 08
I DO CITE INSTANCES,WERE IT WAS NOT ADVISISABLE TO TRUST A STRANGER.now he thinks twice before accepting anything from strangers.
@nanajanet (4436)
• United States
4 Dec 08
I used to teach my kids what to look for and even my students. Once, one of my students, age 9 at the time, was walking down the block and noticed a car driving slow, like he was being followed. He turned around, ran in the opposite direction that the car was driving and ran to a friend's house, rather than going home. He said he learned to do that and not go home, if possible, so they would not know where he lived. They have good books and DVD's now but parents talking to the kids about it is very good. Every day, when they left for school, I would remind them of the things that they needed to do. Most kids would want to help find a lost puppy and I remember going over that scenario with them and telling them that adults who need help will always ask other adults for help and if they did ask them for help, to get out of there or yell for help.
@vijigopi (991)
• United States
4 Dec 08
I found this book about how to deal with strangers in the non-fiction part of the library. I read to my daughter everyday before bed, so I just find some useful books like these too so that everyday reading is done as well as we get some points to discuss at home. I would suggest you check out the library because I got some really good ones like these there. 1. What to do when you are lost. 2. What to do when a stranger approaches for help. 3. Road safety. 4. Planet healthy 5. Healthy foods to eat 6. Why is it important to exercise etc. etc.. If you live in USA, I think you should be able to catch hold of books like these at the library. Good luck.
• United States
4 Dec 08
When my kids were very young, I gave them "safety" words. If someone they didn't know approached them in anyway, if that person did not tell them that "Mommy has given me your safety word, and it is......" they were to get away from that person, asap. My kids were always in my line of sight and within earshot when we were out, except at school. And, even though there are always teachers, other parents and students around, that doesn't mean that a stranger couldn't just walk right up and convince a young child to "help me find my lost puppy". That was the main reason for their safety words. Every couple of days, after they picked their word, I would ask, C, what's your word? He would tell me. B, what's your word? She would tell me, and we were off to school. I suggest that you help him choose a word that someone would not guess because it is a small child. I mean, he shouldn't pick a word like candy, ice cream , toys(whatever the latest toy craze might be), etc. Does that make sense? Anyway, good luck. Raising kids is difficult enough sometimes, it is just sad that we have to make them aware of the bad things so early in their lives.