Unfortunately the world is a scary place and there are people out there who prey on children.
No doubt, it is a very important issue that all parents must address – and one that requires ongoing, open communication with their children. The single most important thing to remember when teaching your children about stranger danger is to instill confidence, rather than fear. You want to equip your child with the knowledge and strategies they will need to protect themselves in dangerous situations. Also, keep your child’s age and maturity level in mind and base lessons upon that. Again, stranger danger lessons should be ongoing – adapt the conversation as your child grows as he/she is likely to encounter different types of situations.
The story Little Red Riding Hood story is an appropriate opportunity to address a safety issue that we altogether much rather not even think about or contemplate:child abduction; nonetheless it requires our attention to help our children avoid the unthinkable.
Teaching preschool stranger danger will help your child practice safety techniques if he is approached by a stranger. Child safety is more than telling your child "Don't talk to strangers." It includes practicing or role playing rules for staying safe. To begin, show your child a picture of who is a stranger and who is not a stranger.
A parent simply can't tell a child how to be safe. It takes practice. Discuss and role play these situations with your preschool-age child. Explain the consequences and dangers of talking to a stranger.
Teach your child these ten rules:
Grownups who need help should ask another grownup for help. This includes someone who asks for directions or wants to show you an animal.
You may talk to another person if I am with you or if I tell you it is ok. Otherwise, you should not tell someone you don't know your name or where you live.
Stay within my visual range when we are together in public. This is especially true if we are at the park or in a big store.
If we get separated in a store, ask a store person for help. Police officers or security guards will also help you find me.
Do not leave with someone you don't know. I will never ask a stranger to bring you to me.
If a grownup you don't know gets too close, back away or run for assistance. If this person threatens you, yell "I don't know you" so others know you do not know this person.
Do not take anything from a stranger, especially lollies, an animal, money or a ride in a car. If you feel scared, leave the area and find someone who will help you.
Know how and when to call 000. Trust the person who answers and answer the questions they ask you. They will help you. Teach your child their full name, address and telephone number.Let your child know that there are NO SECRETS in your home only SURPRISES!
Make it a rule in your house that children never answer the door alone.
Preschool students should be taught stranger danger through role playing activities. These safety practices will teach your child how to respond if confronted with this type of situation.
Another great book for children aged from Kindergarten-Grade 2 is The familiar Berenstain Bear Family ( Learn About Strangers) may help to make a scary subject easier to bear. Brother discourages extrovert Sister from greeting every stranger she meets. Papa tells his children the rules for safe conduct among strangers. After Sister sees the headlines about missing cubs, she over-reacts, seeing every stranger as a threat. This is conveyed by a full-page spread: the top half shows reality, the bottom half shows Sister's scary version. Mama explains the concept of the bad apples in every barrel, literally. A funny looking apple is fine on the inside, but a perfect looking apple is bad on the inside. Finally, the attraction of a toy almost causes usually cautious Brother to go for a ride with a stranger. Sister isn't tattling when she tells her parents, she's just concerned for Brother's safety. The bears' rules are listed on the last page, including one about the privacy of a Bear's body, a topic not discussed in the text. A good book to start awareness in young children.