When you were a child, your parent probably told you not to talk to strangers.
Now that you are a parent, you will similarly have to provide your children some advice and tips on dealing with strangers.
Children encounter hundreds of strangers every day, whether it be at school, in the park, or anywhere else. So advising your children to completely ignore strangers is probably not practical.
Here are some tips you can share with your children, as provided by the National Crime Prevention Center:
- Identify Strangers. For starters, you will want to teach your child who's considered a "stranger." In general, a stranger can include anyone the family does not know well. You will want to let your children know that not every dangerous stranger looks scary, and not to base decisions based on appearance.
- Identify "Safe" Strangers. Your children should be reminded that some strangers may be considered "safe." This can include police officers and firefighters as well as teachers at their school.
- Teach Children About Potentially Dangerous Situations. Help children recognize the warning signs of suspicious behavior -- such as a stranger encouraging a child to disobey parents, to do something without permission, to keep a secret, or perform any other act that may make the child feel uncomfortable.
- Tell Your Children How to Respond. One common method to respond to potentially dangerous situations is the "No, Go, Yell, Tell" method. Kids should say no to dangerous situations, run away, yell as loudly as they can, and tell a trusted adult what happened right away.
- Point Out Safe Places. Let your children know which routes to take to school. Also point out safe playgrounds and other places where they are more likely to avoid trouble.
It's a big world out there and it will be impossible to protect your children from all possible dangers. You will need to train your child on safe practices when dealing with strangers. Playing an active role can help keep your child safe.
- What Are Your Rights as a Crime Victim in Pennsylvania? (FindLaw's Philadelphia Criminal Law News)
- Strangers/Abductions (Tooter 4 Kids)
- Online Safety for Kids (FindLaw)