Stranger: Any men who is black, ugly looking with beard and long nails is considered and framed as a stranger for kids. Women, in general are kept away from this stranger category.
Danger: The only thing parents showcase in front of kids regarding strangers is that they will take you away and harm you.
Wrong Notions, they are. Not entirely wrong, but to consider it as a whole truth is wrong.
It is important to make them independent enough to be able to know who can be considered a stranger and how they can keep themselves safe. When it comes to the interactions with strangers, making your child ALERT or SCARED, are two things poles apart. You can teach them to be safe without scaring them.
Read on to know the things you would require to do in order to keep your kid safe.
- Places: Any place where your kid is away from you is a place they can encounter strangers. May it be home, school, malls, markets, relatives, friends place, gardens, roads, play area, etc. are all the places they can face strangers and dangerous situations. Even in your presence, when you are busy in some activity and are not able to see them, they can face this kind of situation.
- People: Anyone other than you and their siblings are people who can harm them in different ways.
- Things: Chocolates, toys, desserts, food items, etc. are a few things that can be used by strangers to allure the kids.
- Dangers: kidnapping, harming mentally or physically, trafficking, stealing, etc. are the situations they can encounter.
Stranger in reality is anyone who does not belong to the family directly. But that does not mean you will keep them away from everyone. Not everyone is dangerous. Ways to keep them safe:
- Make them learn their full names with address and at least one phone number that will always be available.
- Make them learn your full name with the name of your work place.
- Code word game: Practice a code word game when they are to be picked up from a place. Even with you, the game must be played. They should leave the place only after they get the right code in reply. And till they get a code they must be accompanied by the adult of the place they were in, e.g. teacher in school, tuitions, art and craft class, etc.
- Crowd places: The moment you enter any crowd place, show them the main counter and in-charge of the place. If they are separated from you or if they lose you, they must reach the person and tell them to announce your name so as to let you know.
- Temptations: if anyone unknown tries to allure them with tempting things, they must say they will eat it only after they have you around to share it or simply say no. Similarly for the toys and other things.
- Yell and yell loud: If they are taken away by someone they must shout as loud as they can, also, teach them to bite if someone closes their mouth.
- Keep distance: if they find anyone trying to talk to them or offer them something, they must keep a distance and stand a little away from the stranger. And call you around first and then respond accordingly.
- Notice if they are being quiet unreasonably. Be nice to them and with patience ask them if they would like to share about new things in life. (Stranger danger can be long term too, and can happen daily.) Observe their daily activities and keep a check on their behavior.
- Ask them about the new friends they make. Ask them what they like about their new friend.
- Point out the adults that they can trust.
- Teach them about their body. Anyone touching their genitals or similar activity must be brought to your notice ASAP.
- Teach them basics of electronic gadgets, so as to help you know their location.
- Get it in their habit to describe any new person they meet. Ask them what the person was wearing, color of clothes, car or vehicle color, type of phone, places they are seen often, etc. Make it such a practice that they will automatically keep a note of such things.
So now feel free and relax, no matter where your kid is. Your kid is going to be able to take care of himself/herself. Spend quality time with your kid, at least once in a day and know about their day and activities.