Stranger Danger

Stranger danger is a difficult subject to administer. We all tell our children never to speak to or approach a stranger, and then we take them to meet Santa and encourage them to not only tell him what they would like for Christmas, but also sometimes to sit on his lap!

We also forget sometimes that people we know are often strangers to our children, but we still tell them “Say Hello, to Auntie Beryl.” etc.

I recall a parent telling me about a long conversation, she had had with her son. Telling him all about the dangers strangers can impose, she thought it had gone well until two days later when he innocently asked her “Mummy, what is a stranger!”

We must also be careful not to make our children so scared of people they don’t know, that they are afraid to go to one if they need help.

I used to tell my children when they were young, that if they ever got lost in town while we were shopping to go into a shop and tell the person on the till that they had lost me.

Similarly, I took a group of child minded children on a day trip to the park. I put a bracelet on each of them, with my mobile phone number written on the inside. I explained to them, that if they got lost they should look for a mummy with children and ask her to ring me. One little boy responded by saying, “But I don’t want to get lost, Karen!” I reassured him by telling him that it would never happen (as I didn’t take my eyes off them) but it was just in case. (I thought that approaching a lady with children, was the safest bet, if the worse should happen)

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On the subject of getting lost, I also once heard a tale of a mum not being able to see her son suddenly while at a toddler group. She called his name and when he didn’t appear, the whole group started to look for him. Half an hour or so later, when his mum was starting to panic he popped out of the climbing frame and proudly announced ” I found a really good hiding place didn’t I? No one could find me!”

In summary; talk to children about the dangers of strangers, but not to the extent of making them so scared that they won’t go to one if they ever need to.

As always, questions/ comments are welcome.

7 Comments on “Stranger Danger

  1. Yes it’s very difficult to know what to say to children as they do worry about things and easily get stressed. I’m afraid I might be doing the wrong thing when I talk to children and remark what lovely shoes they are wearing or especially so when making comments about their glasses as I like to make a point of how nice they can be these days. Often children look away as if they don’t want to talk , poor things they don’t know what to do. Good subject ,well done.

  2. Its my biggest fear Karen. l have talked to Megan about it, but not sure if it has sunk in or not.
    l watched a clip on the internet, where Mums interviewed about stranger danger, and they were 100% confident that their little ones would not go with anyone.
    So the experiment was set up. (and of course the Mums were anxious to see what would happen) Hidden cameras were placed in the play area, and Mums sat talking, a middle aged man approached them and sure enough , 8 out of the 10 children went with him in a matter of 2 minutes. That scared the life out of the Mums and of course me.
    It is such a fine line between as you say making them aware and frightening them, l always reiterate to Megan when we are somewhere the rules, but like you, l never take my eyes off of her.
    Think it would be great if school could do a assembly every now and again to concrete it in the childrens minds.

  3. I can understand why that internet clip, scared you, that was the intention, I would think, it would be fantastic if schools did more, perhaps you should mention it to the head teacher, thanks for your feedback and comments x

  4. Well done Karen. This is an important subject to cover and as you said a fine line making children aware but not fearful. The tale you mentioned of a child hiding at a toddlers group can be dangerous. A friend was clothes shopping when her child slipped among the clothes on a rail and hid. Gave her a horrible fright. Children should be aware that their carer needs to know if they are playing hide and seek.

  5. I think all we can do is to keep talking to our children as they grow about theses things and developing on them as their understanding grows, of course we don’t want to scare them but we do want to keep them safe! Eyes on them line hawks!! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  6. Very good points here. It is important that our children are aware of danger from others from an early age but not to the point of assuming that there is a harmful person around every corner. #ablogginggoodtime

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