Guest Post By Hannah Whittenly
As a parent, you want to do everything you can to protect your kids from dangers. This is easier when they’re babies and toddlers and are under your constant supervision. As they grow up, however, it can become much more difficult to guard them. One of the biggest risks to be aware of is the threat strangers pose. Here are some ways you can talk about stranger danger with your kids.
Define “Stranger Danger”
The concept of stranger danger might make your kids think that all unfamiliar people pose a threat. Most people are going about their day and aren’t going to think about causing any harm to your children. What you and your kids need to watch out for are those who are showing uncomfortable amounts of attention. If a stranger is asking prying questions and trying to persuade your children to do something, then they definitely pose a risk. You don’t want to create feelings of permanent distrust in your children. Instead, you want to develop their sense of safety.
Being Wary in the Yard
When your kids are playing in the yard, they can seem particularly vulnerable to strangers. A stranger could approach them or be watching them from the distance. You need to do all you can to ward off intruders. You should consider installing a fence or making your current one bigger. You can call a fence repair company to work on this important matter.
Have a Code
Strangers will try to prey on the naivety of children. They might approach your child by saying that they know you personally and that you were told to come home with them. To prevent your child from being abducted or harassed by a stranger, come up with a code. It could be a secret word that only you and your children know. If someone doesn’t know it, they can’t talk to your children without your approval.
Speaking up When Uncomfortable
Stranger danger can come in many forms. It can be done by passersby on the street. It can also be done by people who your child might know. Whether it’s a teacher or the parent of a friend, you should teach your children to speak up when an adult makes them feel uncomfortable for any reason.
It can be difficult to think or speak about stranger danger without feeling worried. Just the thought of a stranger posing a threat to your kids is enough to frighten and enrage you. By speaking about this with your kids, you can help them know what to do in an uncomfortable situation with a stranger.
About the Author
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.
*Photo courtesy of Hannah Whittenly