Do you want your kids to live a life of safety in this crazy mixed up world? Of course you do. We all do.
Everywhere you turn there is bad news and crime. There have always been dangerous people in this world. Obviously we cannot change people’s choices. But, there is some good news! The good news is that we can teach our kids about safety and how to deal with dangerous people. Nothing is 100% certain, but you can greatly decrease their chances of being a victim. So where do you start teaching your kids?
For years Stranger Danger was literally drilled into our heads. The problem with Stranger Danger is that 73% (or more) of all perpetrators are someone the victim knows AND have gained their trust. It is a friend, a family member, an acquaintance or even a church leader. Not good!
Also, Stranger Danger focuses on the person not the behavior. It is the unsafe behavior that is the risk to your child. Your children need to know that if they feel funny, creepy or uncomfortable in any way–to leave that situation and go tell someone. It does not matter if it is someone they know – no one has the right to hurt them. At that point, manners go out the window. It is good to be rude and leave. Make sure they know to always tell you if something happens to them or they feel uncomfortable.
One day when I was about 9 years old, I was watching TV with a neighborhood friend and her older brother. My friend went to the kitchen to get something to eat. Her brother looked at me and asked me if I wanted to see his private area. I looked at him and ran out of the house. The problem was I didn’t tell my parents. A short time later my parents asked the neighbor boy to babysit! The night he babysat he was downstairs and told me to come down. Not thinking anything of it, I went downstairs and he jumped out at me. I screamed, ran upstairs and burst into my little brother’s room where I stayed the rest of the night. In the morning I told my mom. The neighbor boy got a visit that day from my dad who was a police officer. I am very thankful nothing ever really happened, but it could have.
Always take the time to talk to your kids and listen carefully. Teach them the old saying – When in Doubt – Get Out! Empower your kids today to listen to their intuition. I believe it is a gift God gave all of us to be smart and to be able to live a life of safety.