Raising kids is the hardest thing I have ever done. It will now continue to be that hardest part of my life, but it is and always will be the greatest. Having a family is incomparable. And over the last 8 and 1/2 years that I have been a mother, I have learned so much more than I did even just babysitting or watching the examples of my parents and brothers and sisters. As time and experience will always be my greatest teacher, I have learned some things over the years that I have found to be effective with each of my children.
Talking to your kids about strangers is very important. We live in a smaller part of a big city, but the danger is every bit as real. I grew up in a VERY small town (like 900 residents) and that many years ago, my parents didn’t face the dangers that I face with my kids. I am not saying that they weren’t there, but they were not as prominent or as common. Here are some of the things that helped us over the years talking to our kids about strangers:
- From a young age warn them about strangers. As soon as our kids understand what we are saying, we talk to them about stranger danger. We don’t make it paranoid, and we teach them to be courteous and kind, but aware and alert.
- We always tell them not to take candy or food from anyone without asking us first unless it is from their teacher.
- Avoid having your kids alone outside or walking around and young ages.
- Know who lives around you and be aware of registered SO’s.
- Teach your kids how to handle certain situations.
- If you have kids in school, set up a password. Then if you need a friend or family member that the kids dont know very well to pick up your kids, you can tell them the password so that your kids know it is someone you wanted to pick them up.
- Make sure you keep Child ID kits on hand and update them regularly.
These are just a few ideas. I would love to hear your feedback and how you talk to your kids about Stranger Danger.