One of the major parenting challenges is teaching your kids about the dangers in the world. You want to present a realistic picture of what could go wrong, but you also don’t want to terrify your children. Exploring the topic of stranger danger with kids can help to keep them safe.
Problems can happen at pick-up time from school when teachers are trying to watch scores of children in somewhat chaotic scenes. Check with the school to see what the policies are regarding who is able to pick up your kids. Stress to your children that they are never to leave the school with anyone other than the designated people. If you are having a babysitter or relative pick your kids up from school one day, reiterate to your kids that this person is safe to go with on that day.
At the Door
Unfortunately, answering the door is unsafe in the modern world. People often break into homes this way. Once the homeowners answer the door, these intruders storm in, stealing goods and hurting or killing the individuals inside. Emphasize to your children that they are never to open the door unless certain people are there. Show them where the locks are and how to use the peephole. You can even have a professional, like those from A Carolina Lock Smith, install a lower peephole so that kids can look out.
While you may never want your kids to leave your sight, that thought is generally unrealistic as they grow older. Outside play is healthy for kids, especially in a time when the rates of childhood obesity are so striking. Speak with them about how to interact with neighbors. For example, they might not think twice about going into a neighbor’s house when they are out and playing with their friends. Let them know which homes they can enter; explain to them how to politely decline an invitation.
You can even role play with your children to get them to understand what to do if a stranger approaches them. The National Crime Prevention Council suggests providing them with a few scenarios. Also, the Council suggests teaching them about the “No, Go, Yell, Tell” method. You don’t want your kids to feel as though they have done anything wrong; you want to encourage them to run away from danger and to report it.
Your kids are going to encounter strangers in their lives. While not all of these strangers are going to be dangerous, you should teach your kids how to respond in various situations.