As unpleasant and scary as it is for parents to contemplate the possibility of a predator hurting their child, they must talk to their children about personal protection. Teaching your kid how to safeguard himself from strangers is just as important as other steps you use daily to protect him, like ensuring he is wearing a seat belt.
Through teaching your kid how to avoid potential dangers and the steps to take if he is in a possibly threatening position, they will know what to do in your absence. Here is a guideline on how to teach your child to protect themselves from child predators or strangers.
1. Discuss Uncomfortable Feelings
You may keep it discreet; however, it is still essential to discuss situations that you know will make your kid uncomfortable. Ask the child how often they have felt strange, “unhappy” or uncomfortable, and describe their feeling.
Thinking about these situations now may help protect your kid later. If your kid seems anxious or becomes anxious while talking, retreat a little. This is huge for children to assimilate or express. Divide your child’s current feelings and speak about it. You can come back later to discuss the uncomfortable situations.
2. Be Specific
Give your child some details of some awkward things that strangers can do. For example, they can pay close attention to children and even offer them gifts. They can be physical with children, even though they ask them to stop.
Child predators can often seem harmless and may spend time earning your child’s trust so it is important for them to know what is appropriate and what is not appropriate for an adult to ask them. And they can also ask a kid for directions or request the kids to help them find something, like a stray dog. Help them understand clearly the indicators of human trafficking.
3. Make Children Their Body’s “Boss”
It is crucial to tell children that no one should uncomfortably touch their bodies. This is especially true for swimsuit zones. If your kid needs to have a physical exam with the doctor, be present and ask the physician to explain what they are doing to make the exam more meaningful.
Most doctors and pediatricians will report how children are the “manager” of their bodies at every yearly physical exam. In cases where they don’t, you may request them to —and may communicate the important information at home.
4. Discuss “Tricky Individuals”
The thought of strangers may be unclear for some children. And unfortunately, some dangerous people are individuals who your kids know and see regularly.
One method to make this clear is to talk about “tricky persons.” When your kid is young, always say, “Many people are quite good. But others have issues, and they are not that good. My job is to protect my child from them.”
However, as children get older, they begin to mention that they are also responsible for their safety. And in case they ever think that someone, whether they recognize them or not, is tricky, they can always discuss it with you.
5. Offer Simple Steps for Terrifying Situations
Make a list of the steps your kid can take when a dangerous situation arises. If your kid feels weird, these steps are applicable.
Step 1: Say out loud, “NO!” (For children who are always told to utilize their ‘inner voice,’ this may seem unnatural.)
Step 2: Runoff. (Children might not be used to running away from adults. Emphasize the importance of this.)
Step 3: Locate an adult they can trust. (If your kid is in public and cannot locate you, tell him/her to find a mother who has children.)
Ensure your kid knows it is okay to tell people no. It does not matter if your kid knows the individual or not. Discuss what your kid can do with scenarios that involve unfamiliar people. What if, for example, the job manager asks your child to bring something to his vehicle?
Also, role-play the scenarios with people your kid may know. In other terms, what happens when an unknown neighbor invites your kid to eat something? Or if a family member continues to ask your child for “kisses and hugs”?
Teaching your child to safeguard themselves from strangers is vital. Use these tips to help you teach your family to stay safe from strangers.
By Samantha Higgins