As parents, one of our greatest fears is having a stranger take our child. While we are trying to protect them from danger, when we teach children to “never talk to strangers” we are not making them any safer. What we really need to teach our children is how and when it is safe to talk to strangers.
I was recently sent this video that demonstrates how ineffective it is just to tell our children not to talk to strangers. A man with a puppy asks different parents for permission to approach their children with the puppy to see how they handled it. All of these parents said they have consistently told their children never to talk to strangers. Much to their horror, it took him about 30 seconds to draw their children away from a park.
Helping children practice what to do when a stranger talks to them is much more effective. If your child has practiced “checking first before talking to a stranger” then they are more likely to do so in real life. The beauty of practicing safety skills with your child is that you get to see what they really know!
For more practice skills, download the Kidpower 30-Skill Challenge free online library or purchase a Kidpower comic book.