Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Stranger Danger Conversation (Safety Kids)

I have found myself having to have the Stranger Danger conversation with my children.............

Last week a local mum told me she'd "heard" that there was a man locally trying to lure school children away to help find his lost dog.  That several schools close by had sent letters home to parents, although our school had chosen not to!  She ended the conversation by saying I'm not sure its true though!

I did what I normally do and went home to google it!!!!  All I found was lots of incidences where there has been rumour and urban myth, so I kind of forgot about it.  However, it was playing on my mind, so this morning I rang around and found out from a friend on the other side of town, that it was true, that a man had allegedly been arrested in the North Watford area.

I hadn't had the stranger danger conversation with my children yet, aged 3 and 7.  My Jasper in particular is a very chatty, sociable little boy,who likes to chat to anyone and everyone, and I was so reluctant to warn him against strangers, but have now done so.  There are several YouTube videos you can show your children, but I only found American ones, so didn't think it appeared real enough.  I did however find the attached a very useful read before I had the conversation.

I haven't gone as far as the discussion on sex education as yet, I think I will hold off until I can speak to his teachers on the subject!

The problem I've found is that if you ask children to describe a stranger they often paint them as menacing looking and mean and ugly, but of course we know "bad" strangers can come in many different guises.  Some parents choose to put a password system in place, whereby if a stranger doesn't know their password then they should run immediately, however I think that prolongs a conversation.  I have simply said if anyone you don't know asks you to go anywhere with them, then you say NO.  I tried to stress there are more "good" strangers than "bad", and most likely will never meet a bad one, but to be wary nonetheless.

I now feel a bit sad about it all, but would welcome any input or advice that has worked for you?
Thanks for reading!

Annie x