How to explain abduction without scaring your child

How to explain abduction without scaring your child

Teach safety rules early

Let's talk abduction - so that our kids never face it

My preschooler broke a safety rule that I did not teach him.

How can I explain abduction way he could understand?

 

We were in a park. Kids were riding bikes. It was getting dark. Cars were leaving.

My phone rang:

- “Is he with you?” my husband asked.

- “Yes, he is.”

- “I mean are BOTH KIDS with you?”

“What do you mean by BOTH? Dill is here, Tek was with you!” I tried to keep calm. Dill looked up at my shivering hands.

- “I. Don't. See. Tek. He was riding his bike.” My husband was out of breath from running.

 

Dill and I ran back to the parking lot, yelling and checking everything.

We looked in the bathrooms, on the playground, on the tennis courts, on the trail, on the field, in the pavilions – everywhere.

He wasn’t there.

The cars left the parking lot one by one.

 

 - “Should I call the police now or should we make one more round running?” - one scary thought ran after another.

- What if he’s in trouble? What if he’s suffering? He’s just a little boy. What if I never see him again?”

How to explain abduction without scaring your child - kids safety rules
How to explain abduction without scaring your child - kids safety rules

This is what happened

The phone rang again:

“He’s here. I found him!” – I could barely hear my husband’s voice over our son crying in the background.

I let out the breath I’d been holding, and the tears dropped on my cheeks.

 

Every parent has a scary moment to remember forever.

When your child runs off in an unknown direction with her new friend, ride his bike way too far, hides in a store, or just walks away without paying attention and gets lost.

(By teenagerhood safety worries get much bigger).

 

We were not idiots letting kids run around the park at night while we checked our social media feeds.

Why did it happen?

When we all stopped crying and hugging between the leaving cars, I asked

- “How did you get here?”

- “I was riding my bike. I saw a squirrel. I thought you went to the parking lot,” he said.

 

Oh boy, he was riding too fast.

He went to the WRONG parking lot.

He started looking for the right one and got lost.

 

- “Why didn’t you tell us where you were going?” 

 

I asked and kicked myself.

It was totally my fault - I hadn’t taught him this rule yet.

 

Do not repeat my mistakes - your child may get into bigger trouble before you even think of it.

Two big safety mistake parents make with young kids

 

I thought that at 4 years old my son was way too young to be required to share his plans before leaving.

How wrong I was.

 

Mistake #1:

I didn't teach safety rules early enough (test your child's safety level here).

 

Mistake #2:

I didn't know how to explain it in an age-appropriate way without scaring him.

How I explain abduction to young kids

Abduction bothers you more than your kids.

 

Abduction by strangers is less common than those committed by people that kids know or "kinda" know.

Related article: Why stranger danger is not working and what to do instead.

 

The idea of using books, cartoons, and stories came when we were reading a book of classic fairy-tales.

 

I saw a gingerbread man on a picture singing:

“I can run away from you, I can. Run, run as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man!” -

“Do you see the gingerbread man?” – I asked my son.

- “Yes.”

- “Is he behaving the way he is supposed to be?”

- “No. He ran away from the parents and the fox ate him.”

- “Let’s agree that if you’re going to leave, you tell me before you go, okay? So that if you need help, I’m around.”

- “Okay.”

 

How you can use it

Read Little Red Riding Hood, Aladdin, Thumbelina, and Rapunzel where kids were kept somewhere forcefully.

 

Read Little Red Riding Hood and discuss 3 major safety rules that she broke:

 

  1. She changed the route without checking with her mom
  2. She left with the stranger
  3. She disclosed her plans and the location of her grandma’s house

+ She didn't listen to her intuition about the weird look of the grandma.

 

Kids understand and remember safety rules applied to a story.

 

Precaution:

If your kids ask more questions - don't tell them all that bothers you.

Instead, simply explain that nothing good happens to missing kids.

 

Empathize how bad they felt separated from their families and how sad their parents were.

 

Apply it to your child

We did the work for you!

 

Sign up below to receive a swipe copy for the instructions, examples and conversation scripts:

Download your copy

"Explain abduction in a non-scary way using stories, books, and cartoons"

↓↓↓↓↓↓

How to use cartoons for teaching kids safety - post cover - red riding hood and a wolf

Algorithm for 4 stories:

- Little Red Riding Hood

- Thumbelina

- Rapunzel

- Aladdin

Topics:

- Abduction

- Following safety rules

- The consequences of breaking them

 

Learn how to use any story, cartoon or life situation for teaching safety.

 

Explain this super sensitive topic in a delicate, neutral way without feeling scared or scaring your child.

Well, instead of dreading teaching this subject,

I am now looking forward to starting it. - Liz T, mom

How to use everyday situations to teach kids safety

  1. Learn kids’ safety rules yourself
  2. Use everyday situations to teach them
  3. Let kids practice the skills and experience the lessons.

You don’t need to fake any situations.

You’ll learn to use your everyday life by just paying attention, including stories, games, books, movies, and cartoons you already know.

Click here – to see how.

Enroll in a Free online course for parents of kids 3-10 years old

"Teach Your Child Safety With Strangers (and other people)"

↓↓↓↓↓↓

Teach Your Child Safety with Strangers

Do you want:

  • Your child to be safe with strangers and other people around him?
  • Learn safety skills in an easy, positive, and practical way?
  • Be confident and you worry less about him?

Join this free class and go from fear to confidence.

Because when your child breaks a safety rule he didn’t know, it may be too late to teach the rule.

Don't wait until it's too late. Our kids are the most precious things we have - protect them.

↑↑↑↑↑↑↑

Take action

You are an amazing parent because you are tackling a challenging subject!

Now it's time to train your child.

Please sign up above - so I can guide you through the next steps.

↑↑↑↑↑↑↑

Recommended product

 

Unique online course for parents of kids 3-10 years old

 

A modern perspective on teaching safety

 

Can't find what you are looking for?

Please tell me what you are looking for and how I can help.

I'll be in touch.

Or try using the 🔎 search function at the top of the page.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.

Why stranger danger is not working and how to teach your child safety instead

Why “stranger danger” is not working and how to teach your child safety instead

Why is the concept of ‘stranger danger’ (or “tricky people”) not working for teaching kids safety?

My son has brought me my phone:

  • “Who is this?” – he asked pointing at the person hiding behind a tree and holding candy.
  • “Eh… a stranger?” – I suggested

“Don’t talk to strangers” is an old-school rule sending confusing messages about safety to your child.

Most products teaching kids safety are outdated.

We need a modern system for teaching safety to our kids.

Why stranger danger is not working and how to teach your child safety instead post cover - a girl smiling
  • Why most kids do not understand the concept of “stranger danger”

You confuse your kids when you tell them:

  1. "DO NOT talk to a stranger"
  2. "DO NOT leave with a stranger"

Because kids do not understand who the stranger is!

Is a stranger a man or a woman? Is he or she old, young, good looking, or ugly?
Is a stranger a man or a woman? Is he or she old, young, good-looking, or ugly?

 

How does your child see strangers:

- Is a waiter a stranger?

- What about the waiter we see regularly?

 

- Is a teacher a stranger?

- What about a volunteering parent escorting kids to the restrooms during a camp?

 

- Is a friend of a dad a stranger too?

- But, should I open the door to a dad’s colleague bringing some documents? Is he a friend, or just (maybe) working at the same company?

 

Your child is confused!

 

What are the safety consequences?

! Unprepared child

may not recognize an unsafe stranger and

may not respond in a safe way.

Why do strangers in films offer candy?

Because most kids’ safety resources are outdated.

In the past cities were small and strangers were odd.

A stranger in a village was a big deal.

But modern kids interact with strangers every day.

 

Kids are misled by the outdated scenarios

What is your child thinking?

- “Oh, a stranger is a mean, ugly person wearing a mafia-style hat and a mask. He is enticing a child with a candy from behind a tree. No good”.

 

What does the child learn?

- “Watch out for the black-hats men offering candy!”

 

What is the conclusion your child makes out of this video?

- “But wait, I’ve got candy on Halloween and nothing bad happened. Mom is overreacting. I don’t think it’s dangerous”.

 

As a result:

  1. Your child is not convinced strangers could be dangerous.
  2. He painted a wrong portrait of the stranger in his mind (white, middle-aged male in a certain environment and scenario)

The biggest safety problem with 3-8 year-olds

! Young kids understand the rules literally.

When you say:

- “Don’t take candy from strangers” 

 

Your child depending on the age and safety level may act as:

- “It’s okay to go with a neighbor to get some cookies”.

 

Because you didn’t specifically mention the neighbors and the cookies.

How safe is YOUR child?

What parents say:

 

"The questions of this test made me think of how many important topics my kids yet need to learn about safety.

Thank you for bringing it to my attention"

- Laura Richards, Mum of two

Stranger danger safety level test be with kids

What do your child need to know to be safe with strangers?

Kids need to know a big picture while learning safety.

Do you want your child to be safe when you are not around?

Do you want to teach kids to be safe in the situations you have never discussed? 

 

How can you help your child be safe?

Enroll in a Free online course for parents of kids 3-10 years old

"Teach Your Child Safety With Strangers"

↓↓↓↓↓↓

Free mini-course: Teach your child safety with strangers in a positive, hands-on way - post cover - a girl in white shorts and t-shirt and red scarf

Act, do not react.

↑↑↑↑↑↑↑

Take action

You are an amazing parent because you are tackling a challenging subject!

Now it's time to train your child.

Please sign up above - so I can guide you through the next steps.

↑↑↑↑↑↑↑

Recommended product

 

Unique online course for parents of kids 3-10 years old

 

A modern perspective on teaching safety

 

Can't find what you are looking for?

Please tell me what you are looking for and how I can help.

I'll be in touch.

Or try using the 🔎 search function at the top of the page.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.

8 unsafe situations that should alert you and your child

8 unsafe help requests from strangers that should alert you and your child

A stranger is asking a child for help

This is the second part of the series "Help requests from strangers". Read the first part here: "A stranger is asking a child for help".

 

When your child turns 3 years old teach them:

  • The difference between safe and unsafe help requests
  • How to behave to be kind and stay safe
  • What to do if they find themselves in a situation you haven’t discussed yet (for example, if a good-looking old lady is asking for something and you didn’t talk about it)
8 safety situations about help requests from strangers every child needs to know - post cover - an old lady in glasses and red hat

 

How your child is responding to a help request

  1. Shall I go ahead and help?
  2. Shall I walk away?
  3. Am I rude and unsympathetic?

It's hard.

Most of the time we encourage our kids to cooperate, answer questions, be nice, polite, and cute.

That's why today we will talk about a very important and commonly neglected skill: Rejection.

 

Right to reject

By the school age your child needs to learn:

  • How to reject firmly and politely
  • How to say "No" to a grown-up
  • How to express his disagreement, dislike, or unwillingness to participate in something

This is the cornerstone of his ability to stand up for:

  • his boundaries,
  • his physical and emotional space, and
  • his interests and opinions

Three weak spots predators are looking for

These are the most common buttons pushed by predators to manipulate a child:

 

  1. Significance: feeling important and involved.
  2. Curiosity: luring surprises, adventures, or unknown things.
  3. Being a helper: when your child sees a kitten, a puppy, or someone helpless, old, little, sick, or otherwise in need of help.

These triggers throw children into an unusual and disruptive situation.

What happens to unprepared kids

  1. Most strangers who ask your child for help do it with good intentions (hoping they will help to build good character, for example) or without thinking much at all.
  2. The line between good people and those with bad intent is very subtle for the child.
  3. Harmful people are well-prepared and aware of a child’s psychology. They know and use tricks.

 

! Unprepared kids cannot figure out when a help request might have bad intentions.

8 scenarios your child must know by kindergarten

Make sure you've discussed all these scenarios and what to do - because they should raise a huge red flag in your child's mind:

  1. A request that is forcing a child into something uncomfortable
  2. A request that must be kept secret
  3. A request to open the door (for inspection, treatment, using a restroom, in need of calling 911, package delivery, baby crying on the porch, injured animal, etc.)
  4. A request over the phone when parents are not around
  5. A request requiring a child to enter a house, a building, or move into a different location
  6. A request involving money or other incentives
  7. A request from someone following a child on foot, or in a car, or inviting a child into a car
  8. A fake request for help on behalf of a parent

(If you feel this topic is important, pin this list for other parents, please):

8 unsafe help requests that should alert your child checklist + action plans how kids should respond safely

What kids should do in each situation?

Download the instructions

↓↓↓↓↓↓↓

  • How to recognize unsafe requests
  • How to behave
  • How to help safely or reject properly

In a positive, non-scary way.

8 unsafe help requests that should alert you and your child - post cover - phone with candies

P.S. If your child learns how to help and reject to help properly when he is little, not only he will be much safer when communicating with strangers, but he will also have higher self-esteem and lower risk of being involved in trouble during the teenage and adult years.

 

Don’t wait until it is too late.

↑↑↑↑↑↑↑

Take action

You are an amazing parent because you are tackling a challenging subject!

Now it's time to train your child.

Please sign up above - so I can guide you through the next steps.

↑↑↑↑↑↑↑

Recommended product

 

Unique online course for parents of kids 3-10 years old

 

A modern perspective on teaching safety

 

Can't find what you are looking for?

Please tell me what you are looking for and how I can help.

I'll be in touch.

Or try using the 🔎 search function at the top of the page.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.

How to teach about tricky people and help requests

A stranger is asking a child for help

How to teach your child about tricky people and help requests from strangers in a positive way - post cover - a girl with a backpack

My mom will never forget the moment when I (7 years old) let someone into the house when I was home alone.

 

I knew these rules:

  • I should not have opened the door to anyone,
  • I should not have talked to anyone through the door,
  • And the dog had to answer the doorbell.

… I broke all the rules.

 

Why?

The truth is: most parents don’t teach kids safety until something happens, or they don’t teach it correctly.

 

Make sure YOUR kids know and understand the rules about how to be safe with strangers.

Now read on to see what happened to me below.

Before you judge me

I was not an idiot.

 

Now I'm dealing with the same questions my parents did:

  • How can we raise a compassionate child without sacrificing her safety?
  • How can we teach her the difference between the legitimate requests for help, and those with malicious intents?
  • How can my child give help safely or reject gracefully without feeling bad or guilty?

When I became a mom

I felt anxious that I was lagging teaching my kids safety.

  • What if my child responds to a help request in an inappropriate manner?
  • What if my teaching falls short and he doesn’t recognize he is in danger?
  • What if I’m not teaching enough and something happens and he’s not prepared?

 

I felt guilty something would happen that I could have prevented if I paid attention to teaching him safety.

(You can test your child's safety level here).

 

The real reason I broke the safety rules:

Back to the story.

I had a piano. A huge, glossy instrument had arrived the day before and was sitting in my room unwrapped.

Such a bummer – I couldn’t play. The sound was discordant – it needed tuning.

Mom said someone from the music company would come in the evening to adjust the strings. What? I had to wait for another day?

I was back home from school doing my homework.

The doorbell rang, the dog was barking.

“This is not my mom – mom has a key,” I thought.

I did not respond.

One more persistent doorbell buzzed, and one more.

I was curious:

“Who is so annoying? These are not sales people.

Someone probably needs something”.

What your kids are not telling you when they break safety rules

What kids don't tell you when they break safety rules - a girl smiling

I tiptoed to the door and peeked into the peephole.

Apparently, my dog and I made enough noise for the man to know someone was home.

The glass was blurry, but I saw a young man in a leather jacket standing in front of the door. I couldn’t hear well through the door. He said:

-“Hey, I came to tune your piano. I was driving by and realized I was close to your house, so I decided to try to come earlier”.

I didn’t say anything.

He kept talking:

- “I live on the other side of the city 30 miles away. Your order is the last one for today.”

- “Mom said not to open the door to the strangers,” I thought hesitantly, but didn’t say a word.

He pointed to the black leather tool case in his hands:

- “Here are my tools.”

“Why should I trust you?” I still thought, hanging around the door.

 

Then he said something that changed my mind:

- “I need some help. Can I please come in and tune your piano now, because, otherwise, I will need to wait for 5 hours somewhere till the evening?”

 

This final drop disrupted my safety scenario:

“Okay, he knows I have a piano, he has tools and it feels like he needs HELP,” I concluded.

 

In my mind, his reasoning totally made sense.

I let him in ...

 

The surprising thing was how much fun it was to watch him working. He took all his screwdrivers, wrenches and millet out.

- “Would you like to come over and see what’s inside of your piano?” he asked.

I came closer and touched the strings. The smell of machine oil and wood was tickling my nose. And the sound! Now the sound was bold and proud. The heavy keys were pleasant, thrilling, and exciting to push.

What I never expected

Was my parents’ response to the situation.

I was so proud to tell my parents in the evening:

  • My piano was tuned
  • I could play now
  • I helped someone

I felt I behaved like a “big girl” capable of making her own decisions before I told the story to my mom.

Her face went pale as a ghost, and she almost fainted.

“Are you okay, darling? He did not do anything bad to you, did he?” she asked.

- “Oh, no. It was fun – he showed me what’s inside the piano, played a song and left”, I replied.

 

We had a lengthy conversation that evening.

That was the first time:

  1. I learned there were bad people who could trick kids.
  2. Adults are not supposed to ask kids for help and should call the parents.
  3. And that weird strangers can look nice.

Related article: 8 unsafe situations that should alert you and your child

 

Looking back, I cannot believe I had zero hesitance to strangers.

Neither could my parents imagine such a scenario.

Let me repeat this: My parents could never imagine such a scenario.

 

I was taught the rule not to open the door.

But I did not understand the consequences of breaking it.

 

How many times do we teach our kids some rules without explaining why?

And without reasoning of what happens if you break the rules?

 

Do not make this mistake.

Teach your child the FOUNDATIONS of safety instead of how to respond to particular situations.

You can not imagine how many scenarios of scams and manipulations exist.

Safety is a skill that needs to be taught.

Tricky people - how to teach your child about help requests from strangers - post cover

Enroll in a Free online course for parents of kids 3-10 years old

"Teach Your Child Safety With Strangers"

↓↓↓↓↓↓

Free mini-course: Teach your child safety with strangers in a positive, hands-on way - post cover - a girl in white shorts and t-shirt and red scarf

Act, do not react.

↑↑↑↑↑↑↑

Take action

You are an amazing parent because you are tackling a challenging subject!

Now it's time to train your child.

Please sign up above - so I can guide you through the next steps.

↑↑↑↑↑↑↑

Recommended product

 

Unique online course for parents of kids 3-10 years old

 

A modern perspective on teaching safety

 

Can't find what you are looking for?

Please tell me what you are looking for and how I can help.

I'll be in touch.

Or try using the 🔎 search function at the top of the page.

Please enter your name.
Please enter a message.