How to keep your children safe from absolute strangers; without scaring them?

protecting children from strangers- Parenting resources by ZenParent

As parents, we are always worried about our child’s safety, whether they are with us, in a known group of people or on their own. In today’s world, where trusting people isn’t easy for adults; our innocent little ones are more prone to facing the risks of assault, abduction, and physical or emotional abuse. There have been many cases where such incidents have occurred in caring families, schools, and communities.

The right way to talking to our children about personal safety is the challenge. We don’t want to sound overly worried because they will immediately pick up on this and will themselves begin feeling scared. However, it is possible to adapt simple and valuable ways of teaching children to protect themselves from unknown people, without making them that all are bad.

Just telling your kids about safety measures is not enough

If you think that only discussing about child safety with our children is the key, then you are wrong. Talking to them about various kinds of dangers will raise their awareness but this will also increase their anxiety at the same time. Remember that kids learn best by participating actively.

Demonstrating various strangers’ behaviors to look out for and stay away from, while simultaneously showing them what has to be done at such emergencies will not only increase their confidence and competence but it will also help them practice the right ropes of dealing with such problems in your absence. For example, sighting a set-up where you act as a stranger who comes to your kid and offer him a chocolate or show him a fluffy toy or introduce him to a cute pup to lure him to accompany you can work. And it is here where you should tell your child to talk to the stranger nicely as the solution, while keeping your contact number handy and informing you about the same immediately. It is important to do this in a way that is not scary, but is fun. Let’s not forget, our child can be taught the best by us since it is us who can understand them the most.

child safety tips- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Explaining your kids about the art to say ‘NO’

Kids are innocent and can be carried away easily. Teaching your kids to say ‘No’ when they are sensing something is not right, is a must for the parents to practice with them. And this has to be done in a way where your child doesn’t sound scared or rude. Remember to tell your kid that not accepting anything from strangers or accompanying them to go somewhere (no matter how attractive the offering may sound to them) in your absence is a mandate. And this has to be dealt with assertion and firmness by them.

Remember to never sound worried or anxious

We often get way too worrisome when it comes to keeping our children safe and this is where we tend to lose control and begin finding it difficult to figure out ways of helping our children stay safe. Talking about “stranger danger” or demonstrating scary stories to little ones can infuse fear and anxiety in their minds, stopping them to interact with strangers completely. Instead, tell them that you believe that most people are GOOD, while explaining them that staying alert about certain signs that can cause damage is what your attempt is. Because you wish to just keep them away from some unknown people, who may have certain problems, which may hurt them.

child safety measures are a must- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Not all strangers are bad

Explain your children that they do NOT have to worry about all the strangers they come across. They just have to stay cautious and follow the safety rules. If your children are by themselves, the first thing to do is to get back and check with you or a reliable adult member of your family (your child’s grandparents or a mature sibling) first and inform them about getting in touch with this unknown person immediately.

Hear your kids without judging them immediately

Help kids come up with specific examples of people they know well and people they don’t and listen to what they have to tell you. There are people unknown to you and your kids like them. Get in touch with these unknown people yourself and keep a check, without offending your child. Remember that being cautious is the key and not being overly suspicious. If you sense something is wrong, explain the pros and cons to your child calmly, while letting him know that all you want is his good.

To understand the areas where you can work along with your kid to help him stay safe from stranger-danger, these points must be taken care of:

  • Saying “No” to improper behavior that makes your kid feel awkward and uncomfortable by using polite clear words, eye contact, and assertive body language
  • Staying away from getting lured even when someone uses bribes (things your kids want or love), hurt their feelings (something that make them question their right decisions to not to get involved with these unknown people), or power (that may pressure them into doing something even if that makes them feel uncomfortable)
  • Safeguarding themselves from hurtful or bullying words by not believing them and doubting the self
  • Teaching your kids practice verbal choices (running to a safer place that’s even known to you, screaming for help, getting in touch with the elders around to seek assistance and calling you back) for getting out of potentially unsafe situations
  • Helping your children learn self-defense practices to keep themselves safe from getting attacked by strangers

safe from strangers- Parenting resources by ZenParent

Most importantly, we parents, teachers, and other caregivers of our children need to understand that our kids are more likely to be harmed by someone we know than by a complete stranger. Therefore, children must have clear safety rules both for strangers when they are out on their own, and for setting limitations with known people.

Image Sources: via Google images

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