Kids will encounter strangers everywhere they go. A stranger is basically someone that your kid doesn’t know personally. Every scenario that has your kid leaving the home will include a situation where your kid runs into a stranger. The grocery store, walking downtown, playing at the park, and camping are all places where your kid may run into someone new. Strangers are a part of our everyday society. As a parent, it’s important to teach stranger danger to young kids so that they are open to being polite to strangers, but guarded enough to know when something isn’t quite right with a stranger.
The first step to teaching stranger danger to younger kids is all about educating your kid on appropriate boundaries. Teach your kids about their personal bubble space and that no stranger should ever get within that little bubble. This will help give them an idea of when to sense danger from an unknown person. Explain that only mommy, daddy and doctors are to be within that personal bubble and do some role-playing at home to educate your kid on appropriate boundary space.
A Right to Say No
Raise your kids in a way that encourages them to feel confident enough to say no to an adult when they feel uncomfortable. Teach them to listen to that feeling in their tummy, no matter who they are around, and to be okay with saying no. Your kids will need to feel that you’re there to support them should they feel the need to tell another adult no. This will help encourage your kids to have good self-esteem and confidence to not engage with a dangerous stranger.
Kids learn best through visual examples. Try to role-play different stranger danger scenarios with your kids at an age-appropriate level. You can bring over extra family members as well as friends so that you all work to teach your kids about stranger danger in a safe environment. Role-playing is one of the best ways to give visual examples of stranger danger signs to a kid. This will give your kids a chance to make mistakes while in a safe environment so that they’re prepared for the outside world.
Hopefully, this list of tips to teach stranger danger to younger kids will inspire you to encourage kids to talk to new people while still remaining guarded and careful about whom they approach. It’s important kids learn techniques and tactics to remain safe around strangers no matter how old they are. When you teach stranger danger to kids at a younger age, they’ll grow up with useful information that they can take along with them into adulthood.
If you haven’t checked out our FREE Child Safety Kit, now is the perfect time! I recommend printing the kit and updating it at least yearly, if not every 6 months! Pick a set time to update them, like their birthdays or the first/last day of school, etc. This will make it easier to remember!