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3 Bumps

How do you teach your kids "stranger danger" without scaring them?

My kids are 5 and 3, and I've tried to be matter-of-fact about them not leaving my side and/or talking to strangers. They understand me, but then their imaginations get the best of them and they don't want to go to sleep because they're afraid of the bad people. I feel like I'm doing something wrong in the teaching dept.



Asked by brandyj at 4:22 PM on Dec. 10, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 21 (10,228 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • We don't do "stranger danger". The fact is most "strangers" are good people and want to help. Most likely the people that will hurt them are the people they know (family, friends, neighbors, teachers, etc). We teach our kids to look out for things that make them feel uncomfortable and if they need help (if they are lost or whatever) the people most likely to help them are in uniform or moms with strollers/young kids (although dads would help, too, it's usually easier to find a mom with a stroller).

    Answer by justanotherjen at 7:28 PM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • My DS is 4 so we have similar conversations. My reply to that is "And that is why we lock our doors and windows, so no bad guys can get in. Besides...daddy is so strong nobody would even try.

    Answer by UpSheRises at 4:25 PM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • our only real rule is unless Mommy and Daddy have introduced you to them, no talking. At this point in time they are with me, always, except for my son at kindergarten. As they get a little older and esp. once they play outside alone we'll add more to the rule.

    Answer by hibbingmom at 4:24 PM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • My DD is afraid of strangers I am fine with this, she doesn't have nightmares about them though. It may be the intensity of the conversations. The other day I was late picking DD up from dance class, which is not a big deal I know the moms and instructors. My DD was hiding in the dressing room when I showed up. I told her that no one there would hurt her but that she is not allowed to leave with them either - I usually just wait for class to end but I had to go do something so I was late. I would rather her hide than walk out the door with someone.

    Answer by daisysrdeadly at 4:25 PM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • UpSheRises, I tell them that too. smile mini


    Comment by brandyj (original poster) at 4:29 PM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • I havent really given this talk any thought because my son is barely 3. But I guess I should because he will run up to anyone and scream "HEY". I guess what I would want to teach him is that he can talk to people we dont know as long as he asks me (or whoever is with him) first. I dont want him to come off as a mean person as he gets older. Saying hi to people is how you can sometimes make a friend! But of course there is a difference between making friends with a boy at school wearing a thomas the tank engine tshirt and a creepy old man in a windowless van offering free ice cream at the park...I'd tell ds unless me or his dad are there with him he cannot accept rides or gifts from anyone. BTW I bumped you! Interesting and important question!

    Answer by Owl_Feather at 4:30 PM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • When my kids wee that age they said hi to everyone. So I had to tell them that everyone is not nice. That helped now that they are older I have a new problem in that they thik they can fight off anyone who trys to take them. I did have them watch Dr. Phil when he was showing kids what to do if a stranger ty to get them.

    Answer by LADYA1983 at 4:35 PM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • whats a good age to start teaching stranger danger? I dont think my son would understand at this age. he wont be 3 till april and still doesnt talk much.

    Answer by Owl_Feather at 4:36 PM on Dec. 10, 2010

  • Tell them that stranger danger applies to strangers and not inside the home (although that's not always the case but for arguments sake). Get them each a PROTECTOR toy to give to them a night. Tell them that while they have this toy in their beds when they go to sleep, nothing will or can get to them and so they don't start dragging the toy everywhere, tell them that it only works in their beds.

    Answer by ShouldHaveLeft at 4:38 PM on Dec. 10, 2010