Categorized | Safety, Toddler Safety Tips

Teaching Children About Strangers

Your toddler’s safety is very important and it is your responsibility as a parent to ensure that. Part of your task is to teach your toddler about strangers. This is essential so you can supply your toddler with the knowledge and skills he will need to safeguard himself in dangerous circumstances. Here are some simple tips for teaching children about strangers.

Provide A Definition of A Stranger

First and foremost, your toddler has to understand what a stranger is. A stranger is an individual your toddler does not know. However, you also have to teach your little one to understand that there are good strangers. Good strangers are people he can turn to if he needs help, is lost or scared such as security guards, police officers, teachers and store clerks. Aside from those people, any individual he does not know is a stranger.

Teach Your Toddler Rules

Discuss with your toddler stranger danger safety by teaching him the following rules –

•    Grown-ups who need help should ask another grown-up.
•    It is okay to talk to a stranger if a trusted adult is with him or if you say it is okay.
•    Never tell someone your name or where you live.
•    Do not accept candies or anything that is being offered to you if you do not know the person.
•    Never answer the door.
•    Never go with a stranger no matter what the stranger tells you.
•    If a stranger comes too close, he should run or shout as loudly as possible.

Show Your Toddler What To Do

Teach your little one that whenever a stranger comes close to him no matter what the reason is, he should hold up both hands in front of him and scream, “Stop!” as loudly as he can. If the stranger continues to come forward, the child should yell again, “No!” and “I do not know you!.”. If your toddler is within arm’s reach of the stranger, he should run and yell as loudly as he can. Generally, this action will alert any individual in the area and help ensure the safety of your toddler.

Practice Makes Perfect

Teaching children about strangers will not be effective if they do not practice it. Give your toddler different scenarios. For instance, “You are busy playing at the park while mommy is busy pushing your little sister on the slide when suddenly a friendly woman you do not know walks up to you and gives you a candy. What should you do?”. Role playing is an ideal way to test your toddler’s stranger awareness. The more your toddler practices, the more aware and confident he will feel, the lesser he will be scared when faced with such situation.

Use Different Resources To Teach Your Toddler About Strangers

Teaching children about strangers does not have to be boring. Read books together with a stranger theme. Try books such as “Little Red Riding Hood” and “The Berenstein Bears Learn About Strangers”. After reading, discuss the story. Ask questions such as “What would you do if a stranger approaches you?”, how he felt and what he learned from the story. Rent or purchase DVDs about stranger awareness. Provide your little one printable coloring pages or activity sheets (visit Activity Village) to emphasize concepts.

Buddy System

Talk to your toddler about the significance of always having a buddy with him, whether he is playing or walking. Ask your little one to draw two people on a piece of paper. Have him write how each person on the paper can help the other if a stranger approaches. Let your toddler know that a buddy can always ask for help if something happens to them.

Teach Your Toddler To Stay Close To You

Another way of teaching children about strangers is to instruct your little one to hold your hand or stay within your visual range whenever the two of you are in a public place. Better yet, strap your toddler into his stroller if he likes to wander from place to place.

Have Your Toddler Memorize His Contact Information

Help your toddler write his name, emergency contact number and address in an index card. Encourage him to practice saying it aloud. Memorizing contact information would be very helpful for your toddler in case he ever needs access to it.

Toddlers should be taught stranger danger safety as early as possible. These safety measures will teach your toddler how to react when dealing with this type of situation.

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