Having children will put grey hairs on your head and wrinkles on your face from the worrying and stress alone. The fact is the best thing we can do to keep our kids safe is to teach them how to go out there in the world and fend for themselves when we are not around.
Obviously we all hope that what we teach our kids will come through when and if our kids end up in a dangerous situation, but there are no guarantees. We can only do our best to teach our kids how to keep themselves safe and hope that if something were to, god forbid happen, our kids make smart choices.
1- I Don’t Know You– Period
Tell your kids that if someone offers them the coolest toy or candy, it doesn’t matter. The fact is if a stranger offers a child a favorite toy or candy, your kid may be tempted to go with them. Tell your child that a stranger may offer the best treats ever! The stranger may offer candy or ice cream. That’s what a creepy stranger will do.
Your child’s job is to say no and scream as loud as possible, running in the opposite direction.
Tell your kids in order to stay safe, remember that if they don’t know the person to stay away. And even if a child knows someone, if the child’s parents didn’t notify the kid that the person is coming to get him or her, etc., that child should NOT go with the person.
It’s often the people we know who hurt kids rather than the ones we don’t, sadly.
2- A Code Word
Give your kids a code word that is not easily detectible by the other people in the room to alert you that he or she is not safe, whether he’s at a friend’s house or feeling uncomfortable with a person right in the room.
This is an easy way for you to know your child is in trouble without alerting anyone or the potential perpetrator.
3- Cut Out Those Named Backpacks
I never understood why as a former teacher, parents sent kids to school with personalized backpacks.
Do you really want to give some unknowing creep the honor of knowing your kid’s name? An older child will know to be alerted by any stranger who says his or her name, but a young preschooler or elementary school student may think it’s just someone who knows her that somehow she forgot about.
It creates trust right away to an innocent young child that this person knows his or her name. Don’t let your kid wear a personalized backpack. Period.
4- Private Parts
All parents go through this spiel but bottom line, I tell my daughter: when we help you bathe or assist if there is a health issue or bathroom issue, we see your private parts and genitals.
If a doctor is doing an exam and is permitted, he or she may examine your private parts or genitals. Other than that, no one is to ask to see them or touch them. Your body is special. No one has the right to touch you.
5- Know Trusted Adults
Look for teachers, trusted adults or a police office.
My daughter knows if someone strange approaches her to run like hell, make a lot of noise– now is the time to act out loudly and proudly– and find an adult authority figure.
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