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Toddlers & Preschoolers Toddlers & Preschoolers

Explaining stranger danger

Posted by on Jul. 18, 2012 at 8:09 PM
  • 13 Replies
1 mom liked this

We just got a new place and were unpacking some things. When we were done we were heading back to the truck and our new neighbors said hello. Well DS (3 yrs old) runs over to them and hugs both of them. He's never done this before. Whats the best age appropriate approch to explaining to him he can't run up to random people?

We dance around the living room to classic rock
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Lilypie 1st Birthday Ticker
by on Jul. 18, 2012 at 8:09 PM
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Luvmy2babies22
by Platinum Member on Jul. 18, 2012 at 8:24 PM

I think it starts from situations like that.  My DD is really friendly too and it scares me.  Both of my kids are super social but my son was a little more discerning than my DD.  I think you could start a conversation about people whom he hugs/kisses and people who just get a "hi" or high 5.  You don't have to go into "stranger danger" or things like that but just let him know that people we don't know don't get hugs.  Family and close friends get hugs.

Now that my son is 5 1/2 I can give him examples of things and he understands more.  For example, we were just working on 911, our address, etc.  I would say things like "Tyler, do you call 911 just to say "hi"?"  He would say "no".  "When do we call 911?"  "If Mommy or Daddy is hurt and can't talk to me or if they ask me too."  "If you are playing and an adult needs help finding their dog, do you go and help them?"  "No, I come tell Mommy"

It's such a fine line of making them aware but not scaring them.

TiffanyRose06
by on Jul. 18, 2012 at 8:44 PM
I understand what you mean. Up until tonight DS would say hi to people and start random conversations. He's very social as well

Quoting Luvmy2babies22:

I think it starts from situations like that.  My DD is really friendly too and it scares me.  Both of my kids are super social but my son was a little more discerning than my DD.  I think you could start a conversation about people whom he hugs/kisses and people who just get a "hi" or high 5.  You don't have to go into "stranger danger" or things like that but just let him know that people we don't know don't get hugs.  Family and close friends get hugs.


Now that my son is 5 1/2 I can give him examples of things and he understands more.  For example, we were just working on 911, our address, etc.  I would say things like "Tyler, do you call 911 just to say "hi"?"  He would say "no".  "When do we call 911?"  "If Mommy or Daddy is hurt and can't talk to me or if they ask me too."  "If you are playing and an adult needs help finding their dog, do you go and help them?"  "No, I come tell Mommy"


It's such a fine line of making them aware but not scaring them.

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Mommytorn
by on Jul. 18, 2012 at 11:36 PM
We decided to use the bearnstein
Bears book about stranger danger to help explain it to my 3.5 yr old...she understands the concept but we kinda overdid it I think cuz she had nightmares for a few weeks afterwards :( I felt like such a bad mommy
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laurenb1
by on Jul. 18, 2012 at 11:39 PM
My DS is 3 but when I found out my uncle is a child molestor I talked to DS ( in an age appropriate manner) about all that stuff
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PEEK05
by on Jul. 19, 2012 at 10:07 AM

I started explaining that to my daughter when she was 1. She still talks to strangers (like at the store) but no longer runs up to hug them anymore.  She is 3.

Kimedbs
by on Jul. 19, 2012 at 12:28 PM

My DD is is 4, kind of shy by nature, so she really doesn't approach people on her own, but I have talked with her about strangers,  that it's ok to say hi when spoken to or wave, but that she should never walk up to a stranger (unless a police or fireman, etc) and that a stranger should never touch her.  I've had people walk up and touch my kids (pat on the head, pinch cheeks, etc) in random places like the mall and my daughter will say back off you're a stranger.  Some might find it rude, but it makes me proud as hell.  We've also already had the talk about good/bad touch.

.Angelica.
by Angie on Jul. 19, 2012 at 1:52 PM

bump. my son is shy so i haven't had to really worry about it. it usually takes him a while to warm up to people he knows

lambdarose
by on Jul. 20, 2012 at 11:33 PM

I scare my child. right now she is so sociallyfriendly that i rather say you have to stay by me or else someone will come and take you away and you will never see us again.  I have spoken to her briefly about it. she says hi and when people she doesn;t know look at her and smile she runs to me.  she is super friendly to women but because she doesn't have alot of men in her life she is cautious about them. but she has been known to go up to random people and start talking to them. i worry because i was a wonderer when i was a younger and she sees to be taking after me.  i might have to get a book and talk with her more.

MamaXRandi
by on Jul. 21, 2012 at 1:17 AM

 We have had to have a conversation with my son because he opened the door to a stranger, while we were home, he just got there first. 
We have glass windows next to the door so we can see right at the people and they can see us (no shades).  So we have had several conversations that lead to the conclusion that if Mama or Daddy doesn't know this person you dont talk to them without a grown up you know.  He got it really quick and asks about the rules often. 

We live out in the "sort of" country so we dont get a lot of people we dont know.
It was tested one Saturday morning when a salesperson came to the door at 9am!!! (I know right?!)  When I was in my bedroom drinking coffee.  Well my son must have heard her coming up the steps and looked at her thru the window and then came to get me and said a lady is at the door.  I asked him do I know her, he said no, but Grandma does (I guess she had come by when grandma was watching him).  And so I praised him HUGE for not opening the door without me! 
So my advice is try not to scare the kid, but do talk to them about it.  :)  My son was 4 before I started discussing because prior to that he was never ever out of our site!

Wendsdy
by Silver Member on Jul. 21, 2012 at 2:23 AM

My daughter is one who says hi to everyone. She always has since she was old enough to talk.  She is going to kindergarten in August so we started talking about this. I actually brought it up on CafeMom once and a Mom had some great advice.  You don't want your child to be anti social but you also want them to be safe. So I basically told my daughter that she can talk to anyone ONLY if I am standing with her. Anyone that she doesn't know is a stranger and she is not to talk to them if I am not with her.  I also told her that she is to NEVER go with a stranger no matter what they tell you. I asked her one day "if a stranger tells you that Mama said to go with them, what do you do" She said "run"  YEA!  

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