Stranger danger is every parent’s worst nightmare. How can we teach our kids about child safety without terrifying them?
In that moment…
You’re mindlessly scrolling Facebook reading about what your friends have been up to when suddenly you see it.
Someone’s shared a news report or an Amber Alert. Another child has gone missing. With your heart in your mouth and tears in your eyes you read, imagining how you would feel if you were the parents. You tuck your children into bed that night, giving them an extra squeeze and covering their little faces in kisses.
Hoping and praying this will never happen to your family. Wishing with every bone in your body to keep your loved ones safe from any possible harm. Knowing that your children can’t be with you every minute of every day but hoping to everything holy that if something happened – they could handle themselves.
But who is going to teach them to do that?
Seeing clarity through the terror
It’s easy to get caught up in the horror stories of missing children and feel completely overwhelmed and terrified.
Countless other little names and faces who break our hearts and whose stories fill us with horror.
What we do know, though, is that the number one thing that will improve child safety is education.
What do we need to know?
You need to get your head OUT of the sand and GET EDUCATED about child safety.
You need to be able to answer the following questions:
- What is my child’s online presence? How safe is their information online?
- What is being taught about child safety at my child’s school? How can I enhance those teachings at home?
- If my child were approached by a stranger would they know what to do?
Here are some fantastic places you can find REAL and RELEVANT information about child safety and stranger danger for kids.
- The Daniel Morcombe Foundation.
There is information on this website for parents – videos, activities and apps that will help YOU protect YOUR child. Daniel’s parents chose to turn their personal tragedy into a positive by helping to educate everyone in Australia about child safety.
Here you’ll find lots of great ideas, resources and information about promoting child safety in a wide range of situations. From stranger danger to internet safety to even being safe around water – this is vital reading for the educated parent.
Don’t just leave it up to schools
Our teachers take on a huge burden of responsibility. Not only do they teach the curriculum but they are incredibly focused on teaching our beautiful children life skills – including stranger danger.
But we can’t just leave the hard stuff to them!
- Speak to your kids, often and honestly, about stranger danger in a tone and using language that best suits them. The idea is to NOT scare them but to ARM them with the information they need to make decisions in their own best interests.
- Your children are ALLOWED to question authority. If a grown-up they don’t know tells them to do something they are ALLOWED to refuse.
- Your children are in charge of their OWN BODIES. Teach them the real names of their body parts. Talk to them about personal space and what people are and aren’t allowed to do them. Giving your children power and autonomy will mean that if someone tries to pressure them into a situation they shouldn’t be in they will be strong enough to say NO.
- Teach your children about the dangers of secrets. No one should be asking them to keep a secret – particularly from their own mum or dad.
Stranger Danger and Child Safety – Take It Seriously!
Do you have any great ideas about keeping children safe? Something you’ve tried, that your school has done or that you’ve seen in the community?
Let’s keep this conversation going.
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