Teaching Children About Strangers

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Recognizing Strangers

Teach your children that anyone they do not know is a stranger. That seems like an obvious concept, but young children are generally friendly people. Explain to your children that unless you or another trusted adult introduces them to the stranger, that stranger should be avoided. Try not to scare your children, use familiar words and act out scenarios to teach them to recognize strangers. Giving them the tools to deal with strangers is also helpful to making your children feel comfortable.

How to Deal with Strangers

One of the most important concepts to teach our children is to trust their intuition. If they feel anxious or scared by a person, they should avoid contact with that individual. In addition, explain to your children that they are responsible for only themselves. If an adult needs help, they should get that help from another adult. Your child is not responsible for helping an adult find a puppy, or any other task.

Choose a password for your child to remember. Teach children that if a stranger approaches them and uses this password, that they are safe to talk to. Make sure the password is something important to your family, and cannot be figured out by a stranger.

Teach your children your name, their name, as well as their address and phone number. If your child gets lost, knowing this information may be critical in locating you.

Who to Trust

Teach your children that a few people are “safe” to trust. These individuals include police officers, firefighters, teachers, and doctors. In addition, they can trust anyone who tells them your password.

Teaching your child about strangers will be a continual process. Practice with your child, test your child, and be open with your child about strangers. As children become older, add new concepts and tools to help them handle strangers.

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