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What have you taught your children about strangers?

Do you have a talk regularly about staying safe and what to do if a stranger approaches? Do you have a "safe word" for family and friends that are trusted? Do you do any kind of role playing for dangerous situations to help your children be prepared?


Asked by KTMOM at 1:54 PM on Sep. 14, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

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Answers (12)
  • My daughter is learning in school and we have been teaching her since she was old enough to talk and walk. She hides behind us when a stranger approaches until we tell her that it is okay. We have done some role playing for some dangerous situations and she is learning very well. She is very smart when it comes to strangers.

    Answer by KMorris7159 at 2:00 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • We don't teach stranger danger. We teach situation and safety. Not all strangers are bad and not all friends are good.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 1:57 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • I don't teach "stranger danger" either. I think it's silly to teach kids that ALL strangers are going to hurt them. That's completely not true and they need to learn to tell the difference and trust their instincts. Because of stranger danger teaching kids are not terrified to ask an adult they don't know for help if they are lost.
    I've taught my kids it's okay to talk to strangers. In fact it's polite to say hello to them but they should never go anywhere with someone they don't know and if someone tries to get them into their car or house to run the opposite direction.
    And to go to another adult if they are scared and need help. Last year there was an attempted abduction a mile from our house. My kids walked to school on their own so we went over what to do if someone approached them and they felt uncomfortable. One of the things I told them was go to a neighbor's house and scream and bang on the door.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 2:46 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • We don't do "stranger danger" either... I have always thought it in-steals fear rather than teaching safety. We prefer to teach them to be safe regardless of who they are with or around. Just because someone is a stranger doesn't automatically make them a bad person, it simply makes them someone you don't know yet.

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 2:01 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • We do have a code word, and we teach them to listen to their gut feelings, regardless of who they are with. We also teach them that it is OK to say "no" to an adult, and that an adult will not aska child for "help", and no matter they are told, they can ALWAYS tell me or their father. Among many other things, we teach them to stay together when out playing, and they are forbidden to go into ANYONE'S home without our knowledge.


    Answer by Radarma at 2:07 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • Yes I do. THere is actually a great book from the Bearnstien Bears about Strangers. It helps a child understand why we don't talk to strangers, but not to live in fear and everything in between.

    Answer by Musicmom80 at 2:12 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • Since i live in the city and my son plays outside and tons of people walk by my house daily, hundreds really.

    I teach him not to talk to strangers, and since i have been personally mugged, i tend to over teach it. I might be installing some fear, but dang it, he needs to fear some of these ghetto places.. living in LA and other places, its not safe!! we have had so many people shot on the streets here in Sacramento, i am scared... so yes i do go the other way and tell him the truth about an area i am in...

    Of course my kid is the most outgoing and social kid around, so i dont worry about it. if he was shy or scared i might act different. but he is a tuff big boy...

    Answer by AVONMom1981 at 3:54 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • ^thanks Radarma, those are the kinds of things I was wondering about when I asked this.
    I was not saying anything about "stranger danger" but rather what people do to make sure their kids stay safe and what to do if someone strange or unknown approaches them trying to get them into a car or "help" them with something...

    Comment by KTMOM (original poster) at 2:10 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • Because of our neighborhood even if no one was home at that house it would have aroused people's curiosity and someone would have peeked out somewhere and helped them. They are also taught to find a person in uniform (cop, security guard, employee) or a mom with a stroller if they find themselves lost in a crowded place and ask for help. Those people are the ones most likely to help them.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 2:47 PM on Sep. 14, 2010

  • Thanks justanotherjen I never thought about a mom with a stroller, they would be more likely to see a mom that a police man at the mall. Great tip Thanks alot!!!!

    Answer by ttfntigger13 at 3:22 PM on Sep. 14, 2010