Explaining to children that, unfortunately, not all people mean well for them is difficult. Especially because as parents you don’t want to take away their basic trust in others. So how should you warn your children about strangers with bad intentions??
- · When to warn children about strangers?
- · Behavior towards strangers
- · How to protect my child?
- · Children must be able to confide in their parents
- · All-round protection harms children
I live in a small town. In one that I always thought nothing bad could ever happen there. Especially not my children. Then, not far from us, two school children were approached by a strange man on their way home.
The stranger tried to persuade her to go with him with candy. Nothing worse happened, thanks to an attentive resident. The police were called in and took over the case. But since then all hell has broken loose in my head.
My children, just like all other children, are unprejudiced, curious and unthinking when it comes to other people. They are not aware that they could be a source of danger. Where also?
But we parents watch news and listen to stories. Of course only the bad ones – and those stay in the head. But the chances of your own child falling victim to a crime are slim. The fear of parents, on the other hand, is great.
That is why parents should prepare their children to deal with strangers. For how they feel and to protect children. Best without scaring them.
When should children be warned about strangers?
If a child asks specific questions about this, parents should be sure to answer them honestly. Age is not the decisive factor. In general, children of school age should be introduced to the topic of. Especially if they are already doing the school run or smaller trips on their own.
Behavior towards strangers
As a parent, you want the child to be and remain open and respectful of others. False distrust nobody wants to arouse. That’s why it’s important to make time for conversation. In any case, abandon the phrase: "Do not talk to strangers." Because it only creates fear. Rather, you should introduce your children to the topic gently.
Sit down together and explain to them that there are people who don’t mean well by them. Refrain from going into details like abductions or pedophilia. Talk to your child normally and simply.
It is important that your child understands what you say. Let it be known that there is always "no may say when it feels uncomfortable. That his will counts. And that there are ways in which it can protect itself.
Video tip: 10 taboo phrases for parents – never say this to your child!
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How to protect my child?
Children are often approached – accompanied by parents or not, in stores or on the street. Most of the time, they are people who mean no harm. Children answer questions in a friendly way, revealing many things: name, age, place of residence, siblings, etc.
As a parent, you should teach your child that he or she can calmly say certain things like the name (first name only). Other things, like where you live or information about siblings, are none of strangers’ business.
If children go to school unaccompanied by their parents, it can help if they join forces with neighbor children, classmates or older schoolchildren. The more children walk together, the safer it will be for each one.
A family password can also be a great piece of security. If a stranger approaches the child and tries to persuade him or her to go along – for example, by saying "Mom/dad sent me to pick you up" – can ask the child for the password. If the person does not know the word, the child does not go along.
In addition, children should learn to draw attention to themselves in a dangerous situation – by shouting, calling out or approaching other passers-by. Running away can also be an option. Therefore, children should know where they can ideally run to.
In many places there are so-called "islands of refuge". But restaurants, bakeries, cafes and stores – generally places where there are more people – also offer refuge.
> For more detailed tips and lots of information on keeping kids safe, check out the Sicher Stark Initiative page.
Children must be able to confide in parents
We can not accompany our children all day. But we have to let them know that we are always there for them. Because in case they should tell us openly about it and not feel that they have done something wrong.
Trusting the child and knowing that the child trusts the parent can protect them from great danger. That’s why you can’t actually tell your offspring often enough that you listen to them, that you believe them, and that you’re always there when he or she has something on their mind.