It is never too early to educate a child about safety and security. Parents are afraid of their child`s safety at schools, roads and even at home; irrespective of age, a child should be aware of their surroundings, and self security should be their first priority.
Teaching a child about talking to strangers depends on their age. Preschoolers are unaware of the term “stranger” and fail to determine who is safe or unsafe. Thus, at schools and toddlers must be taught about basic safety and how to deal with unfavorable situations. The 5- to 8-year-old must be given special attention and lessons about safety and how to deal with strangers, when they are alone and unsupervised in public or at home.
A 4 year old knows who a stranger is and must be taught safety rules. Whereas, School-age kids have an idea that some strangers might be dangerous and some can be totally harmless. They have the ability to differentiate between the two with their judgment and impulse.
Ways to teach kids to handle strangers:
A parent should be aware of their child`s whereabouts, no matter where they are going. A child must be given strict instructions to inform to their parents about their outings. Even if it is a minor chore or an errand, a parent should be informed; this way they can protect their child from other people. A child should feel free to inform their parents about someone`s inappropriate behavior, be it a stranger or a known person. Parents must listen to their kids by supporting them and address the person trying to hurt them.
No Stringent Rules:
To a child, virtually everyone they meet is a stranger, at least at first, like, day-care providers and teachers, babysitters, doctors and nurses and dentists, the mail carrier, even police officers. While there are some strangers with ill-intentions, most of the others are safe and probably friendly and kindly disposed towards children. Thus, a child should not be taught to “never” interact with a stranger, rather they should be taught to be more alert and aware and avoid any physical contacts.
At an early age a child should be taught to spell and write their full name and at least know the names of one parent. They must know their address and telephone numbers of their parents and emergency numbers like 9-1-1 or 1-0-0.
Basic body safety:
Teachers and parents should educate 2- and 3-year-old with general body safety. Preschoolers are not too young to learn the correct terms for their genitals and they must be taught that no one is supposed to touch their private parts and they must avoid any kind of physical contact with strangers or sit on their laps.
Using Public Bathrooms and Trial Rooms:
By age 6, most children are ready to use a public restroom and trail rooms on their own. A parent should be vigilant and should stay close to their child. They must immediately refuse help from unknown people, if offered any.
Ability to say NO:
A child should be taught to recognize suspicious behavior. Instead of telling them to be scared of an unknown person and run away from them, a child must be taught to detect danger and uncanny situations. Instances like, a stranger offering candies, asking for directions, asking for personal information, showing inappropriate behavior; kids should be aware of such circumstances and never succumb to the given scenario. They should be taught to stay away from such strangers and never offer or accept any help from such people.
Final Thought about Parents, Kids & Strangers:
It is not possible to protect kids from strangers at all times. But it is possible to teach them about appropriate behaviors and what to do if somebody crosses the line. There is no point crushing a child`s friendly and outgoing nature and terrorizing a child by making them scared of everyone by dwelling on such unpleasant possibilities as kidnapping, rape, and murder; rather they must be taught to distinguish among different people and always be alert and attentive. Keeping these tips in mind can help kids stay safe while they’re out and about.