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Most products teaching kids safety are outdated.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 most kids do not understand the concept of “stranger danger”
You confuse your kids when you tell them:
- "DO NOT talk to a stranger"
- "DO NOT leave with a stranger"
Because kids do not understand who the stranger is!
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Because most kids’ safety resources are outdated.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Kids are misled by the outdated scenarios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:
- Your child is not convinced strangers could be dangerous.
- 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
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"
Act, do not react.
You are an amazing parent because you are tackling a challenging subject!
Now it's time to train your child.
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