As parents we naturally want to protect our children. We strive to teach them right from wrong, instill good manners and not to talk to strangers.
This week a short film popped up in my timeline on facebook. I was quite taken aback by what I saw on the film and felt compelled to talk about it. In the film Joey Salads approaches parents in a park, explains he is conducting a social experiment and then asks how often they talk to their children about not talking to strangers. Once answered Joey asks the parents permission to talk to their child and see what happens. Then with the aid of a cute puppy called Donuts he approaches the children. The results are eye-opening. You can see the video by visiting YouTube here Do you know how your child would react in the same circumstances?
Sadly this shows that despite being told by their parents time and time again not to speak to strangers, when faced with a cute puppy they fail to recognise the person as a stranger. I have shown my children this film and used it as a talking point with them, as a means of showing them that just because someone has a dog or other animal, it does not mean they are “safe” to talk too.
Growing up I can clearly remember seeing adverts on tv highlighting stranger danger and other topics, something you don’t see readily today. In today’s society sadly there are more dangers than when we grew up, or is it that we are more aware of the dangers? Either way as parents we want to know how we can best protect our children while also enabling them to still have some freedom and experience those things that help them grow into independent sensible adults.
I know our local primary school has visits from the local Police who talk to the children about various topics including Stranger Danger. You could use this visit as a means of talking further to your child/ren. Some of the things we talk to our children about are:
- Who is a stranger
- Never accepting sweets or gifts from strangers
- Never getting in a car with a stranger
- Never going anywhere with a stranger
- Never going anywhere on your own without telling a parent or trusted adult.
We try to teach our children about how they can keep themselves safe. This includes:
- Teaching them who they can trust – i.e a uniformed Police Officer, a Teacher.
- To be aware of their surroundings.
- To know when to tell us or another trusted person that they have been approached by a stranger.
Do you talk to your children about Stranger Danger? What do you tell them?