Child abduction is one of the biggest fears for all parents. In fact, it can be so worrying for some parents that they limit their child’s outdoor activity.
However, this can have a negative effect on the child’s social and psychological development. Whilst abduction is a genuine worry, it’s rare. Between 2010-2017, around 350 people under the age of 21 were abducted.
On the other hand, there are certain adults that you want your child to engage with. These include family friends, police officers, firefighters, doctors, and more. You also do not want your child thinking that every adult is out to get them.
With that in mind, it’s still important to teach your child about stranger danger.
In this article, we’ll share tips on how to teach your child about stranger danger and keep them safe.
Agree on Safe Spaces for Your Child
It’s very important for children to be able to play outside. Regular exercise helps them to burn off excess energy, plus, it has other physical and psychological benefits. They’ll keep healthy and develop a habit of staying active.
However, whilst they’re outside unsupervised, they’re an easy target for predators.
So how can you help keep them safe?
You should become familiar with your child’s route to and from school. Ensure they don’t take shortcuts through isolated areas and stick to busy streets. You should also make sure the route is well lit with streetlights.
Throughout the route, identify safe spaces in which they could go if they feel in danger. This could be a local supermarket or convenience store. It may also be a friendly local business in which you trust.
If your child feels they are being watched or followed, teach them to run to a safe space whilst yelling and shouting. This will draw a lot of attention and deter any predators from striking.
Teach Your Child Common Predators Tricks
Child predators have devised clever tricks and stories over a long period to help abduct children. These stories are usually convincing, and urgency is applied to them.
For example, a common story is that they need help finding their puppy.
Find examples of these stories and teach your child to be wary of them. Tell them not to believe these stories and to contact you if a stranger ever tells them one.
One other common trick is a stranger asking a child for directions in a car. Teach them to never approach the vehicle and not to engage with the stranger. They should also be advised to head to a safe space as quickly as possible.
Develop a Code Word
You should develop a code word with your child and trusted family members to be used in an emergency.
If you can’t pick up your child from school and someone else has to, tell your child they only leave with the person after hearing the code word.
By using this code word, your child can be sure the person is safe. Ensure they know it and never tell others about it. You could even change it from time to time for added security.
This step is great for teaching your child that it’s important to be safe, but also there are good adults out there that can be trusted.
Stranger Danger Parenting Tips
We hope you have enjoyed reading our article and it has been useful.
As you can see, there are many simple strategies you can use to help keep your child safe. Not only are these effective, but they prevent your child from becoming isolated and afraid of the outside world.