Monday, February 24, 2014

Stranger Danger and the Myths Kids Believe


"Playground In The Park" by Feelart on freedigitalphotos.net

In lieu of a recent situation in our neighborhood and this headline in the news recently, I decided to have 'the talk' again with my kids.

I realized pretty quickly, that even though we've had this discussion before, there were quite a few myths they believed about their own safety.

Have you had the Stranger Danger/Safety talk with your kids?
At what age did you begin introducing them to this scary but real concept?

Have your kids take this quiz. Parents, you'll know the answers to the open ended questions, but see if they do. Likewise, try to guess what they'll answer to the personal opinion questions.

You might be a bit surprised-and so might they-
  1. Do you feel safer at the bus stop or at the park? (This is somewhat of a trick question- naturally we feel safer near home and those places we frequent, so kids will often say 'bus stop', but then ask them part II of this question: Where is your guard most apt to be down?)
  2. Do you feel safer with a cell phone?
  3. If someone stops in a car and asks you for directions, what should you do?
  4. What if you recognize them as a 'friend' of yours, or mom and dad's?
  5. Do you have a password or code that only you and your parents know (which if someone comes by to pick you up in  a car and asks that you go with them (and your parents said it's okay) that they will be able to tell you?
  6. Is a female or male stranger safer to talk to/give directions to?
  7. Who is allowed to pick you up from places, other than mom and dad?
  8. Are teachers, coaches, counselors and fellow church friends okay to leave with? Can they be trusted?
  9. What are you supposed to do if someone comes to the door of your home?
  10. 11. Do you know the local street names around you?
  11. Should you walk to and from school, library, friends house, bus stop alone?

Parents, here's a quiz for you:

Do you wait until your child is safely in school before you drive off?
Do you drive them to the bus stop when you cannot see the stop from your house?
Does your teen walk to and from places with earbuds in, texting or talking on the cellphone?
Do you have an action plan in case someone tries to enter your home uninvited? 
Are all of your emergency numbers available and visible in a central location in your home (not saved in a cellphone that needs recalling by searching for contacts)?
Do you have the talk more than once with your kids?

The point of the this is not to scare anyone, it's more to raise awareness and remind us of the things we already know, so we are ready if it happens. It's like school lockdowns and fire drills; we know what to do, but we practice them once a quarter so that we'll be ready if/when it really happens.


Here are some helpful links:

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