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Thread: Talking to your kids about strangers

  1. #1

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    First, here are a few books/DVDs for kids about strangers; I highly recommend the first:

    * The Safe Side - Stranger Safety

    * Your Body Belongs to You

    * The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers (First Time Books®)

    * Not Everyone Is Nice: Helping Children Learn Caution With Strangers (Let's Talk Book)

    * Who Is a Stranger and What Should I Do? (An Albert Whitman Prairie Book)

    Now, here is what I have done to protect my two daughters:



    I have told them that no adult man, or boy over about 12, has any business asking them for help, or approaching them. The only help they should render is to go get me or their mother. They should maintain distance between themselves and somebody they don't know, and they should tell the person to stop approaching. If he continues, they should scream "PERVERT! I don't know this man! This man is not my Daddy!"



    My girls, 4 and 6 years old, know the proper names for all their body parts, and are not ashamed of saying them. They know that nobody, not even a doctor (if mommy or daddy are not there, too), has the right to touch them in certain places.



    My girls know that they can refuse affection. If they don't want to hug Aunt Helga, they don't have to. When we're playing, they know to say, "Please stop; I've had enough!" to make tickling stop, rather than just screaming/laughing. They know that attention should STOP when they say stop.



    They know to pay attention to their surroundings. I sometimes will play a game with them at the playground/mall/where ever and ask them, without looking around, to describe other people in the park, and where they are.



    They know to trust their feelings; if another person does something that makes them nervous or uncomfortable, to get away, and tell an adult they trust. I have told them that sometimes, an adult might do bad things to a child, and then tell that child that he will hurt them, or hurt their parents, if they tell anybody. I have told them that as soon as they tell me, or their Mommy, or their teacher, that person will never get a chance to carry out his threat because the police will put him in jail (assuming I don't get him first...)



    My six-year-old knows my cell number, their mother's cell number, and their grandparents' cell numbers; the four-year-old knows just Mom's number, and has a card with the others. They know, if they ever get lost or separated, to look for an adult woman, preferably a Mommy, and tell her they're separated from their parents, and to ask the woman to call us on our cell phone. I have actually drilled this routine with them, taking them to a mall/playground/fair ground, and tell them I'm going to sit down, and i want them to pretend they're lost, and go do what they're supposed to. They both did exactly what I taught them, and had the desired result; the woman they asked immediately called me up.



    When we're driving in the car, I quiz them on our phone numbers and addresses, and I roleplay scenarios with them.



    At the park, i have pretended to be a stranger with a dog leash, looking for my puppy; in one case, I walked up to them and asked if they saw a puppy running around, and then walked away; in another, I asked them if they wanted to help me find my puppy. I asked them which time was the help I asked for appropriate, and what they should do.



    Perhaps all this robs them of some of their innocence. But I'd far rather their childhood end a little prematurely than their lives.



    Once, at a park, I saw a man carrying a little girl away. She was crying and kicking and screaming. Most likely a temper tantrum, but I wanted to make sure. I approached the man and asked if i could ask the girl who he was. At first he tried to push past me, but i got out my cell phone and told him if he didn't let me ask the girl if she knew him, I'd call the police immediately. So he stopped and let me ask her, and she confirmed it was her Daddy.



    I expected him to be a bit upset for getting in his face, but he thanked me for checking.
    My Grow List

    "We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special." -- Stephen Hawking

  2. #2
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    adult women can have bad intentions aswell. i think that's a bit sexist. yeah i know statistics and stuff but i like to be PC.

    i was almost kidnapped at the park when i was about 4 or 5. i hid in the slide from 2 guys who wanted me to come out then my mom got me and we left all my toys there lol. i hid as soon as they got out of their van, even though there were other people at the park. i just felt a negative vibe i guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] (JustLikeAPill @ Aug. 17 2006,12:49)]adult women can have bad intentions aswell. i think that's a bit sexist. yeah i know statistics and stuff but i like to be PC.
    Sacrificing safety to be PC is just insane.

    I don't give a flying f*** if I hurt somebody's pwecious wittle feewings. My daughters' safety is the overriding concern.

    Do you have kids? Who would you tell them to seek out if they were lost?
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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    chill out buddy. you don't think adult women can kidnap, ra pe, and kill children just like adult men? that's not sacrificing safety, i'd say it's being even safer. i was always told not to talk to adults i didn't know, either male or female. are you saying my parents were sacrificing safety to be pc?


    i hope i dont have kids, i'm gay and 16 so that would really raise some serious questions if i did. if i did have kids, male or female, i'd tell them to find a cop/security guard. if they are in a building i'd tell them to find whoever is in charge. i would teach them not to talk to adults they didn't know, either male OR female.

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    That was a great thing you did at the park and wish I had thought to do that when I saw a similar situation once. Some of the rest I don't agree with and handled differently with my daughter, now 13, but they're your daughters and you have to do what you believe is best.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals — but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]i would teach them not to talk to adults they didn't know, either male OR female.
    The point was that the kids find a woman, preferrably a mother. If we're playing probability, one mother will sooner help the children than not. Know what I mean? Nobody is saying women can't or wont do bad things, only then when it comes to saftey, you find someone who the kids can most likely trust- a mother.
    I think it would be fair to tell the kids that a father (a male with his children) should be a safe person to go to for help, granted.
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    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    yeah that works.

    anyways, they are your kids, and you can teach them whatever you want and no that wasn't meant to be sarcastic.

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    I have tried to talk with my children, ages 8 and 5, about these situations as well. It is a very scary thought that someone could do things to hurt them. I haven't been as focused on it as you seem to be, and I don't know if that is a good or bad thing. I certainly want them to know what to do if they are being approached or touched in the wrong way, but I don't want to scare them and rob their innocence at such young ages. I volunteer with a local sexual assault crisis line and support center. I am trained to answer the phone and to cousel people who have gone through things like this. What most people don't realize is that it is very seldom someone that they don't know. It is usually dad, uncle, neighbor, mom's boyfriend, etc. People that they have been taught are "safe" and that they trust. Plus, we tell our kids not to argue with adults and to do what they are told. So it is certainly a tough job teaching them when it is the right thing to NOT do what that adult that they have been taught they can trust wants them to do.

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