In today’s fast paced world, we often hear stories of kidnapping, child molestation and many more things concerning young children.We had never heard about these kind of things before. It is therefore very important that you talk to your children about strangers .They need to know some important and basic things about strangers. Children are very vulnerable and therefore they trust people easily.
It is important for you to make them understand the dangers that they can get into by not adhering to parental instructions. While doing so ensure that you are not unnecessary instilling fear in them. In order to avoiding scaring your child, you can just say that a stranger in not necessarily a good person or a bad person but just a person they don’t know.
Here are some of the key things that parents can teach their children while dealing with strangers
Define rules for talking to strangers
You need to make it plain and simple for children to avoid talking to strangers. If they are approached by any stranger and if the stranger tries to start a conversation between them, then they clearly need to move away from that interaction. Depending upon their age, you can teach them things about their safety.
Remember young children should not be left unsupervised in parks and other public places. They are very impulsive and are too young to have good judgmental ability. Any child above 5 years old is sometimes left unsupervised at home or in the park for a short period of time. In such situations it is important to give clear guidelines on their communication with strangers.
Always give clear instruction to stay close when outside
Tell your children to stay close to you, but in case they do get lost then advise them to lookout for police personnel or a security guard to ask for help. If they get lost in the mall, then tell them to go to the place where we pay for things and tell the person there that they are lost. Instruct them to wait there till you come and get them.
And if they are unable to find anybody, then they should look out for a mom or dad with small children . Go and ask for help from those elders. Also let them know that if any stranger approaches them when they are alone they need to come back to you and inform you immediately. You can also tell them it is fine to talk to strangers (whom they don’t know in your presence). In any other case they just need to stay clear of any conversations.
Limit giving a personalised item to your small children
If you write names on lunch boxes, water bottles or name tags etc., then it makes the child’s name visible to strangers. Strangers are more likely to call them by their names and gain their trust.
Teach them about the good touch and the bad touch (body safety)
Children as young as 3 to 4 years understand that it is not okay to touch their genitals. Tell them clearly that only parents can touch them while giving them bath or dressing them up. In this process, you might enjoy some funny anecdotes of them telling you of any and everybody touching them even by mistake.
Have a code word in your family
This is one of the easiest ways to make them understand. You can give them a family code word. If anybody tries to come and pick them up after school or from a friend’s house or any tuition classes that they attend, then they need to ask for the family code.
It is clear that if the stranger is not able to give the code word, then your child should refuse to go with them. In such cases they need to immediately find someone in authority that they can trust.
If they are bothered by any stranger and are being followed, they need to scream without any delay. Tell them it is perfectly fine to scream or hit or make a scene or knock things off to gather attention. This is the time that they should not be worried about their good manners.
Do not open the door to strangers
Give clear instructions to your older children when alone at home, that they should not open doors for any couriers or parcels or anybody. If you have a land line then ensure that you put a caller id, so they can identify and pick up those calls only.
No Body secrets
Most of the young children who are molested or sexually abused are often told that these are secrets that they need to keep. Children are very naive and they fall for this trap. Tell your children clearly that body secrets are not allowed between you’ll. They need to freely come and share with you if anybody has touched them inappropriately.
Clear Internet guidelines
The computer should be placed in a common area wherein you can monitor what your children are watching. Young children should not be on chat forums and should never give any personal information online as there are online predators.
Normally children are physically abused in crowded places or in public places like toilets etc. Do not leave your young children unsupervised near toilets or public restrooms. Be careful and stand outside the door. In case they need any help they can ask your help and also tell them to refuse any help from strangers.
Teach your child your complete home address and your contact phone numbers.
Today, children as young as 4 years can learn their full home address and also the mobile numbers of their parents. In case of an emergency they can use this information. Always walk with them in your neighbourhood and tell them about the safe places and other landmarks and boundaries that they need to know in case they are lost.
These are some of the things that you can teach your children to be careful about in dealing with strangers.
One of the most important things I stress upon to my children is to pray to God daily for protection. In my case, the protection verses from Bible give them a lot of comfort and wisdom to do the right thing at the right time.
To know more ,Please click here Safety against strangers
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