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How to teach a child safety without scaring them

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My DH scared the bejesus out of my 4 year old daughter last night.  He asked her what her name was and she was saying the wrong last name.  He told her that if she ever was lost and she did not say her name right she would not be able to come home.  Needless to say not long after she was in tears and cried for at least two hours before I was able to get her to sleep.  She woke up at least 30 times in middle of the night and was wimpering and having horrible dreams.  

I understand wanting her to know how to get home safe but it pissed me off that he put it in a way that scared her.  How do/did you teach you children about stranger danger and safety?

by on Feb. 1, 2013 at 11:02 AM
Replies (11-12):
by Ivy on Feb. 2, 2013 at 12:17 PM

 I agree, I think it was probably the tone rather than the actual words that scared her.  We talk about rules as we go places, and the reason for those rules.  If things come up, then we're very matter of fact about them.  For example, an alert went about that a predatory pedophile was being released to a neighborhood across town.  We talked to the kids about it and the need to stay together, about not stopping to talk to strangers.  We didn't go into a lot of details, just explained that there was a person who liked to attack girls, and that they needed to protect themselves, and these are ways they can do it.  It was pretty matter of fact, but down in a calm and fairly quiet voice.  I don't want to scare my children, but I wanted them to understand the importance of being aware of their surroundings and what they can do.

by on Feb. 2, 2013 at 8:51 PM

This is one of the reasons that the very idea of 'streetproofing' is foolish.

Scaring kids doesn't protect them from anything, and it disrupts their sense of security when they are safe.

It's a parent's job to see to the safety of a child, not a child's job. They're too immature to be able to. Suggesting otherwise requires a different kind of animal than a human.

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