We were all taught not to talk to strangers or to take anything from strangers. Childhood abduction is on the rise, and it is essential to talk to the children in your life about what to do if a stranger approaches them. You may think it will never be an issue for you family, but life has a way of surprising us. The term stranger danger itself can be misleading to children. They may misinterpret who a stranger is to them. They may feel strangers are big, mean, ugly men, but perhaps a nice lady offering them candy or an attractive young man looking for his puppy and seems friendly may not be interpreted as a stranger. Furthermore, you child may actually need to rely on a stranger for help.
First, always tell your child to trust their instincts. If they are uncomfortable in any situation, get out of it as quickly as they can and call you. It is important to teach your child to come to you if anyone approaches them, asks them to keep a secret or invites them to leave with them.
Teach your children to ask certain kinds of people for help, for example a police officer, store clerk, or someone with other children.
Allow your child to have a cell phone. You can track their location and they can message or call you if they find themselves in an uncomfortable or unsafe situation. Always have them check in to school, after school and when going to and from their friend’s homes.
Make a secret password for you and your children. If a stranger ever approaches you child telling them their mother sent them, your child should ask for the password. If the stranger does not know it, they should run and seek help.
Sign your child and yourself up for a local self-defense class. Then practice those skills at least once a week so that if you are grabbed you have a better chance of escaping.
Role play possible situations with your children to give them examples of what to do in possible abduction scenarios.
Keep the children in your life safe!
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