We find that talking to our kids about “Stranger Danger” can in fact be misleading and lead to more confusion and anxiety than anything.
Instead we talk to them about Stranger Safety instead. Stranger Safety is when we don’t just harp on the dangers of strangers but more about our behaviors about people we do not know.
Here are some simple things that we teach children in our Kids Karate program, that you can go over with your child to better prepare them for encounters with people they do not know.
- Most people are good. This means most strangers are good.
- A stranger is just someone I don’t know and can look like anybody.
- The rules are different when I am with an adult who is taking care of me and when I am on my own. When I am on my own, my job is to check first with the adult in charge before I let a stranger get close to me, talk to me, or give me anything.
- If I am old enough to be out on my own without an adult to ask, it is safer to be where there are other people close by to get help if I need it.
- I do not give personal information to a stranger or to someone who makes me feel uncomfortable.
- It is OK to get help from strangers if an emergency is happening to me, and there is no one close by that I know.
- My job is to check first with the adult in charge before I go anywhere with anyone (a stranger or someone I know). I will tell the adult in charge where I am going, who will be with me, and what I will be doing.
- I will have a safety plan for how to get help anywhere I go.
- I will know what my family’s safety rules are for children answering the door, being on the phone, and being on the internet.
As you can see, this a much better way of explaining what we expect of our kids when around strangers. When it comes to explaining what we want our children to do and not do, the more specific the better. Concepts and principals tend to be harder for a child to understand let alone remember the younger they are. Find our more at one of our nationwide Premier Martial Arts locations!