As parents, we all know that teaching our kids about safety is extremely important. When we send our children off to school each morning, we absolutely need to have peace of mind knowing that they can get through each day and return home safely.
Most parents tell their kids not to talk to strangers, or not to get in a car with strangers, but that’s not always enough. Kids may know not to talk to strangers, but what if someone approaches them and pretends to know you or your family? Then what?
Children Can’t Always Detect Danger
Your child may take this information and decide that a random adult is not a stranger. Young children haven’t yet developed strong critical thinking skills or adult-like intuition, so it’s likely that they will be able to take a situation and weigh all the “What if’s.” Their minds haven’t yet developed the ability to detect the subtle indicators of dishonesty.
As adults, if there is something strange or off about someone, we can usually tell right away. Kids, on the other hand, have a way of taking information at face value and believing anything an adult tells them because in their minds, grown-ups tell the truth and if a grown up says he’s a friend, then he must be a friend, right? Wrong.
There are many potential situations that could leave your child feeling unsure of what to do. Aside from the typical “Don’t talk to strangers” speech, there are several other conversations you should have with your child in order to cover all your bases. Below is a list of three lessons you can implement in these conversations to ensure that your child is always prepared in the face of danger.
1. If You’re Unsure about Something, Talk to an Adult before You Make Any Decisions
Make sure your kids know that it’s okay if they don’t know what to do in a situation. Tell them that anytime they’re unsure of something, to seek advice from a teacher or parent right away.
They could be enticed to accept a ride from a stranger, or someone could offer to walk them home. Kids take these gestures as something that is nice and helpful, but we all know it’s a dangerous situation waiting to happen.
2. Always Observe Your Surroundings
Kids can get caught up in what they’re doing and then lose sight of what’s going on around them. If they’re going out to play with friends in the neighborhood, make sure they know to come home before it gets dark.
An increased level of alertness will also enable children to notice things they otherwise wouldn't, such as a strange person following or watching them. They’ll be able to report their suspicions to an adult, which could keep them out of a potentially dangerous situation.
3. Tell an Adult If You Think Someone Else Is In Trouble
Tell your kids not only to watch out for themselves, but other children as well. If they see that one of their friends is upset or scared, they should bring it to the attention of their teacher or an adult they trust.
If your child sees a friend talking to a stranger or getting in the car with someone they don’t know, their lives could be in serious danger. Let’s be honest here, random adults don’t hang out around neighborhood parks or schools and talk to kids just for fun. That is 100% creepy and it’s even worse if they offer the child a ride somewhere.
There’s No Such Thing as Too Safe
If you teach your children these three easy tips, they’ll be much safer during the times when you’re not there to protect them. There are plenty of creeps out there and you don’t want your child befriending them. There’s no such thing as a child being too cautious or too safe, especially in the world we live in today where kidnappings and other child-related tragedies occur every single day. A little caution goes a long way when it comes to keeping our children safe and secure.