How to talk to your kids about Stranger Danger
Stephanie Neiswender is spending her last few days of summer at the park.
"I have four kids, I have a nine year old, a six year old, a two year old, and a six week old baby," explains Stephanie.
She makes sure her kids know how to handle strangers.
"To always come and tell them if somebody did something to you or don't follow them and listen to them when they say stuff," says Stephanie's nine year old, Chase.
"Go tell the teacher, tell somebody like a grownup," says her six year old, Wyatt.
When having this conversation, it's important to explain exactly 'who is a stranger?'
"They are asking them for help to get into their cars or to look for something and most likely an adult is not going to ask a child for help so let them know to go with their instincts," says Safe Kids Adams County Coordinator Triena Larsen.
Next is identifying who 'safe strangers' are, like police officers and firefighters.
"Say 'I need to check with a safe adult before I help you' or go to the teacher or principal at the school," explains Larsen.
Say your kid is waiting for the bus after school and a stranger approaches.
An easy to remember method to teach them is 'No, Go, Yell, Tell.'
Kids should say no to the strangers, run away, yell if necessary, and tell a trusted adult what happened.
"I do think it's important for parents to teach their kids about strangers because it's a crazy world we live in these days," says Stephanie.
Below is a list of other things parents can do courtesy of the National Crime Prevention Council:
- Know where your children are at all times. Make it a rule that your children must ask permission or check in with you before going anywhere. Give your children your work and cell phone numbers so they can reach you at all times.
- Point out safe places. Show your children safe places to play, safe roads and paths to take, and safe places to go if there’s trouble.
- Teach children to trust their instincts. Explain that if they ever feel scared or uncomfortable, they should get away as fast as they can and tell an adult. Tell them that sometimes adults they know may make them feel uncomfortable, and they should still get away as fast as possible and tell another adult what happened. Reassure children that you will help them when they need it.
- Teach your children to be assertive. Make sure they know that it’s okay to say no to an adult and to run away from adults in dangerous situations.
- Encourage your children to play with others. There’s safety in numbers!
For more details on stranger danger go here.