We all want our children to be safe when they are around other people. Unfortunately, there are people in this world that we can’t trust with our kids. It’s important for us to intentionally teach our children how to be safe around others.
Children are so innocent and trusting that often times their first instinct isn’t to be cautious around people. We as parents have a duty to teach them what kinds of behaviors are appropriate from others and when to watch out.
I want to share with you three lessons every parent should talk to their child about and some fun and easy ways to help teach these lesson to your child.
1. Their bodies belong to them
Show your child a picture of a body and ask them to point to parts of their bodies that others should not touch.
I did this by having my kids make life-size drawings of themselves. I gave them both a red marker and asked them to circle the parts of their bodies that no one else should touch.
Explain to your child that if a swimsuit would cover a part of their body, then no one else should be touching them there. Talk about the names of these body parts and how they should be considered private.
Let your child know their body belongs to them. They are the boss of it. Being the boss means they can tell someone they can’t touch them.
This is true even if it’s someone they know and care about. They should never allow someone to touch their private parts. With the exception of a doctor and that is only if mommy is with them.
Also, they have the right to tell other people they won’t touch their private parts. Anytime someone gives them a bad feeling about their private parts they should tell mom or dad.
2. There are ” tricky people” in this world
I found this slideshow online of one counties sex offenders. I started going through the images of the offenders with my children and asked them to tell me which ones were dangerous and which ones weren’t.
After looking at a handful of the pictures, I explained to them that all the people we had looked at were people in trouble for doing bad things to children. I told them that you can’t tell by looking at someone if they are a good or bad person.
That is the thing about dangerous people, they will try and trick you into thinking they are something they are not. They want you to like them and trust them so you will not get them in trouble. They will try to appear to be nice people when they really are not.
Make sure to go over the following points.
Never go with an adult unless mom or dad tells you it is okay first.
If someone asks you for help, always check first if it’s okay with mom or dad.
An adult you don’t know should never ask you for help.
If you can’t ask mom or dad the answer is NO.
You can say, “No” to anyone that make you feel scared or uncomfortable; even adults or authority figures.
If an adult ever tells you not to tell anyone something, always tell mom and dad.
You should never keep secrets from mom and dad.
If someone ever tells you not to run or yell do the opposite. Yell, scream, kick go crazy.
Have your child role play different situations where these rules should be applied. A few situations we used were: a stranger giving them a gift, someone they don’t know asking for help and someone offering them a ride.
3. What to do if you are lost
Explain to your child that if they got lost they should stay where they are and yell for mom and dad. If they need help they should ask a mother with children.
Also, they should never go into the parking lot to look for you because you will never go to the car without them.
We ended the night by coloring some pictures I found here, here and here about what to say to strangers.
When researching information on children’s safety I stumbled upon a website named Safely Ever After. It had tons of great information on implementing safety tactics with your children. I would definitely recommend checking it out. In fact, she even sells a book to guide you step by step through the teaching process.
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