Talking to Your Kids About Strangers
SafeTouch Security Systems are designed for home and business, but we care about your safety when you are away from the home or office, as well.
You and your family need security wherever you are, and one of the best ways to ensure your family’s safety when they’re not under the surveillance of a security system is talking to your kids about strangers.
Talking to your kids about strangers means teaching them the difference between safe strangers and dangerous strangers. Everywhere you and your children go, there will be people you don’t know, and not all of them are bad. Your child may need to talk to a stranger if they are lost, hurt, need help, and so on.
Safe strangers are people your kids can rely on if they need help. Some examples of safe strangers are:
- Police officers
If your child does need help from a safe stranger, emphasize that they must find someone in a public place.
On the other hand, it’s not always possible to tell if someone is dangerous simply by looking at them. Sometimes dangerous strangers can look professional, nice, and harmless, but the signs they are dangerous will be in their behavior, not their appearance. Here are some examples of suspicious behavior to be aware of:
- The stranger asks your child for help
- Follows your child
- Makes your child uncomfortable in any way
- Invites them into their home
- Asks them to disobey their parents
- Asks them to keep a secret from their parents
Teach your children that the best resource they have is their own instincts. A dangerous stranger may not exhibit any of these behaviors, but they could still have malicious intentions. Teach them to listen to their own feelings: if they are uncomfortable in any way, it is time to use No, Go, Yell, Tell.
No, Go, Yell, Tell
In dangerous situations, children should say no. Teach them that it is always okay to be assertive and say no to a stranger. After they say “no,” they should “go” and flee the situation. Tell your child to “yell” as loudly as possible and “tell” a parent or other trusted adult what has happened.
Tips for Parents
While you should be teaching your children about dangerous strangers, it is also important that you educate yourself. At SafeTouch Security Systems, we believe that parents can play an important role in keeping their children safe, so here are some tips for parents:
- Understand that most abusers know their victims personally. It’s not all that likely that abusers will find their victims randomly at a park; coaches, teachers, and other adults in your children’s life may be more dangerous.
- Never allow anyone to babysit your children for free. There may be that gymnastics coach who enthusiastically offers to take your kids off your hands for an afternoon, and this is not appropriate.
- Make sure you’ve met the parents of your children’s friends and listen to your children if they ever say anything strange about them.
- Point out safe places to your kids. Tell them which roads/parts of town are safe and which are not.
- Always know the whereabouts of your children and check in with them often, especially if they are home alone after school. Check out our after-school safety checklist.
It is important that you educate yourself so you can keep your kids safe when they are away from home. However, you should not assume that just because your kids are home means that they are safe, and the best way to ensure home safety is to read up on why SafeTouch Security Systems are your best option.