Hillary Chybinski: teaching your kids about strangers. . .

Thursday, August 04, 2011

teaching your kids about strangers. . .

have you started talking to your kids about strangers?

we had a seemingly innocent incident happen last weekend, that has me re-visiting this serious parental milestone.

if you have not met my children in person, I will tell you that they are talkative and friendly.  they see the good in all people and have never been mamma-clingers.

we've had the "stranger danger" talks with the oldest, appropriate touching, what to do if you're lost, online safety . . . all the personal safety discussions parents have with tweens.  we are just starting these talks with the little one.

so as a reminder to the oldest, and good information to have even if you are only 4. . .we told the kids in the car that if a grown-up approaches you and they seem "safe" but you feel uncomfortable - it is ok to walk away.  it is okay to come find us, a store employee or a mom (woman with children).  it is ok to be rude if you feel uncomfortable.

i had read The Berenstain Bears, I think it was The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers. . .where Mama Bear tells the cubs how strangers are like apples - they may look nice on the outside - but inside you may find it all yucky and full of worms.   But you can't tell what's on the inside just by looking on the outside.

i constantly tell the boys that no one they don't know will pick them up from school, camp or anywhere - EVER.  That we have reliable and available emergency contacts.   But I wonder of the wisdom of a "secret word". . .are you familiar?

you and your child come up with a secret word - known only to the 2 of you.  If you need someone other than yourself to pick up your child - they need to tell your child the secret word first.  Which means, you have sanctioned the pick-up and told them the secret word to tell your child.

has anyone tried this?  how do you share the seriousness of strangers and "bad people" with your kids without scaring them to death?

catch you soon -

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