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  1. #11
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    My SIL sent me this which i thought was quite interesting

    Right after Diddy was born, I was in the car listening to NPR and I heard a child safety educator say, “Stop telling your kids not to talk to strangers. They might need to talk to a stranger one day. Instead, teach them which sorts of strangers are safe. You know who’s safe? A mom with kids. Period. Your kid gets separated from you at the mall? Tell her to flag down the first mom with kids she sees.”

    This was fantastic advice. I have shared it with everyone who will listen, ever since.

    Last month, I finally got to meet the woman who’d said this brilliant thing, when I had the enormous good fortune of attending a kid’s safety seminar led by Pattie Fitzgerald of Safely Ever After. Safely Ever After offers seminars to adults and children on the subject of “keeping kids safe from child molesters and abuse.”

    I didn’t seek Pattie out. I don’t spend every moment of the day worrying that my kids are going to end up in white slavery. But Diddy and Gaga’s preschool offers the material to parents of pre-K students as a preamble to teaching it to the pre-K kids, and Diddy’s a pre-K kid, so I went to hear what Pattie had to say. (And in light of all the Miramonte Elementary madness, I am thrilled I did.)

    If it makes you uncomfortable to think about offering this sort of material to a 5 year-old, let me reassure you by saying our school offers an opt-out. But after spending a morning listening to Pattie’s presentation, I can honestly say I would have let her go teach my 3 year-old about “tricky people.” If the boys could understand it, I’d have her come over and talk to them, too.

    And they’d like it. Really. I did. Sitting around listening to all the horrible things that could happen to your kids might not sound like a good time — but oddly enough, with Pattie Fitzgerald, it is.
    For one thing, Pattie knows her stuff, and I felt confident that her information was accurate and her advice studied and strong. For another, she’s pretty funny — so the material she presented never felt horribly gloom-and-doomy so much as matter-of-fact and manageable.

    FOR INSTANCE:
    • It is unlikely your kid is going to be abused by a weirdo at the park (huge sigh of relief).
    • That said, if there is a weirdo at the park, he’s not going to fit the “stranger” model — so stop teaching your kid about strangers! He’s going to come up to your kid and introduce himself. Voila! He ain’t a stranger anymore.
    • Teach your kids about TRICKY PEOPLE, instead. TRICKY PEOPLE are grown-ups who ASK KIDS FOR HELP (no adult needs to ask a kid for help) or TELLS KIDS TO KEEP A SECRET FROM THEIR PARENTS (including, IT’S OKAY TO COME OVER HERE BEHIND THIS TREE WITHOUT ASKING MOM FIRST. Not asking Mom is tantamount to KEEPING A SECRET.)
    • Teach your kids not to DO ANYTHING, or GO ANYWHERE, with ANY ADULTS AT ALL, unless they can ask for your permission first.
    See how I said ANY ADULTS AT ALL? That’s because:
    • It’s far more likely your kid is going to be abused by someone they have a relationship with, because most cases of abuse follow long periods of grooming — both of the kid and his or her family.
    • Bad guys groom you and your kids to gauge whether or not you’re paying attention to what they’re doing, and/or to lure you into dropping your guard. Don’t. Kids who bad guys think are flying under their parents’ radars, or kids who seem a little insecure or disconnected from their parents, are the kids who are most at risk.
    SO:
    • Be suspicious of gifts that adults in positions of authority give your kids. There’s no reason your son should be coming back from Bar Mitzvah study with a cool new keychain or baseball hat.
    • Be suspicious of teachers who tell you your kid is so special they want to offer him more one-on-one time, or special outings. That teacher who says your kid is into Monet, he wants to take him to a museum next weekend? Say thanks, and take your kid to go see the exhibit yourself.
    • You know that weird adult cousin of yours who’s always out in the yard with the kids, never in the kitchen drinking with the grown-ups? Keep an eye on your kids when he’s around.
    • Oh, and that soccer coach who keeps offering to babysit for free, so you can get some time to yourself? NO ONE WANTS TO BABYSIT YOUR KIDS JUST TO BE NICE.
    And, here’s another good reason to add to the PANTHEON of reasons to teach your children the anatomically correct names for their genitalia:
    • There isn’t a child molester on earth who’s going to talk to your daughter about her vagina. Really. But if she suddenly starts calling it a cupcake, you can ask her who taught her that.
    Taken from this site http://www.checklistmommy.com/2012/0...new-strangers/

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  3. #12
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    This is a good site too http://safelyeverafter.com/index.html

    Looks at how to keep them safe online as well

  4. #13
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    Default When and how to teach "stranger danger"?

    I agree with the above post. I work in child protection and it is not about stranger danger, it's more teaching kids that it's ok to tell someone if they don't feel comfortable, are scared or confused. Get them to think about who they can talk to if they feel unsafe ( we get kids to list five adults). And teach kids the correct names for body parts! If god forbid something did happen you do not want the offender to get off because the police can't proved which body part the child is talking about!

  5. #14
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    My first thought when reading your post, was "your child should not have access to the street at 4". Supervision is the key, he is more likely to be run over then snatched off the street and 4 is too young to be safe.

    Secondly, the above post is awesome and is what we have done and I now have a very confident 8 year old who i can allow a reasonable amount of freedom.

    We stressed the "adults don't need help from kids" and "if in doubt, find a mum with some kids, never an adult by themselves". He was approached by a guy in the park when he was 5 and he actually used the "puppy in my car line"...he said "sure, i'll just get my mum as she loves puppies too"...needless to say the creep disappeared by the time I got back with DS (ps we did inform the police).

    DS is choosy who he talks to...loves the guy at Bakers Delight but refuses to speak to the guy at our local butcher...i don't question this, I just let him use his own judgement.

    There is a book called "Everybody's got a bottom" that is a great story book...talks about private parts and touching and privacy...it is a great starting point.

    mostly, it's not a one off conversation, it's a life long dialogue...for boys and girls. We talk a lot about respecting people's personal autonomy and that no means no. That if someone looks uncomfortable but has not said stop, stop just in case. We talk about keeping ourselves safe and looking out for our friends, that no secrets can be kept from both mum and dad (but you can have a secret with either or about what you are getting them as a present...that's it...no other secrets).

    Keep eyes and conversations open...and be protective while still teaching them independence and how, in the long run, to protect themselves.

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    As above, I don't teach "stranger danger". There have been cases where kids are lost/missing and have hidden from the very people looking for them and calling their name because they were "strangers" (police officers, SES volunteers, CFA etc etc).

  7. #16
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    I haven't taught my kids about stranger danger and they are very friendly with strangers as they've always seen me happily chat to strangers. I'm at the belief that a stranger is a friend you haven't met yet.

    But..

    What I HAVE taught is to never go with anyone without mummy's permission and when they're older even if a stranger came to them and said "You mum said you can come with me" I will give them a 'code' if it were real.

    Why?

    Not because they could be bad people who will take them but because it's the law. Mummies and Daddies need to know where they're children are - simple. Mummy and Daddy need to know you are safe and also because we'd be upset and worried if we didn't know where they are.

    I've taught them about private parts and how if they feel uncomfortable with ANYONE at ANYTIME no matter who they are (stranger or not) that they are allowed to be impolite and scream and yell and bite and pinch...anything they need to do to get away from the situation and to tell mummy or daddy or anyone they trust STRAIGHT AWAY.

    I've taught the older ones specifically that NO ONE IS ALLOWED TO TAKE YOU INTO A ROOM AND CLOSE THE DOOR. No way no how!!!! There is NEVER any need for a minor child to be brought int a room with the door shut...therefore if they have to yell, scream, shout, pinch, bite, punch, kick their way out...they can do it and they will not get into trouble!

    I've also gone further and told the older ones that some people like to tell kids that they will hurt or kill their family if they tell....they are lying...pure and simple. I tell them that they are only saying that because they want to hurt them.

    Recently, my eldest spent a week away from me to spend time with a friend in another town. I sat her down and explained things AGAIN (even though she's 15.5 now...I still explained it) then my 11 and 15 year old were in the car with me and I explained it all AGAIN to my 11 year old in the 15 year old's hearing because the 11 year old was going to a friend's place where I don't know the family very well.

    My 15 year old asked "Why are do you keep saying the same things...we already know, you've told us a million times" And my answer was....

    "Because I want MY VOICE to be the first thing you hear if EVER you are i a situaton that you feel comfortable in...I want it in your head over and over...the words that I have drummed into you for years!"

    I also explained that a lot of my friends from my generation have had 'something' however small it may seem...but something happen to them as children, where this kind of 'private part' talk wasn't the in thing. She was very surprised and even understood why I harp on about it. She even said "Wow I had no idea...I guess that's reason enough".

    So yeh...sorry about the essay but that's what I do

    Hope this helps

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  9. #17
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    London is offline “I think we're losing our sense of humor instead of being able to relax and laugh at ourselves" - Betty White
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    I asked DS to show his younger friend what to do if a stranger approaches at a park or shops. DS stared wide eyed then screamed as loud as he could and then said "..and then you run away".
    Form an orderly line and I shall teach you my child-rearing secrets

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    Thanks for all the advice. It's a really hard balance to achieve, particularly when you have a child who is already anxious. I will reflect and have the talk on another day, and try and get a copy of that book, as I'm a bit awkward and talking about genitals.

    I think I lean towards the apprehensive side as my mother was pretty paranoid about something happening to us and it left some effect. For example, she didn't let my brother join scouts or a friend's church group as she told him they were full of paedophiles, and was always warning us about the "child molesters" in the parks.

    river song, I agree he shoudn't have access to the street. He's recently worked out how to open the doors and does a runner into the yard while I'm feeding my newborn. But I've worked out a way to secure all the doors now. He's good with the road and understands getting hit by cars, but 4yos are still unpredictable.

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    -I started when ds was 3.5-4 years old and taught him about good secrets/bad secrets. A good secret is one that lasts only a short time for example if we are going to a surprise party or we have bought a present for someones birthday. A bad secret is one that someone wants you to keep for always and only you and that person knows about. You can always tell mum about bad secrets because they are not really secrets anyway.

    -We have a secret code/password. If someone says 'your mum says its ok for you to come with me...' then that person will know our secret code/password. Mum will have told them before they were to pick you up.

    -If mum is in the shower/on the toilet and someone knocks at the door saying they have a delivery, a gift etc come and tell mum first. Mum will always have a bigger treat for you than the other person. [You have to follow thru if this ever happens].

    -We have the bathers/speedo rule for body. If someone wants to touch your body where your bathers/speedos usually cover then say no. This is your private area and it belongs to you. However if you need some help from a doctor then mum will be with you and that's ok.

    -I also respect when my ds doesn't want a cuddle and if he is slow in getting change I would never try to pull his clothes off because i'm in a hurry. I need to have respect as much as I expect him to respect himself and others.

    -I also teach him these things as part of a bigger picture. I tell him its because he is getting older and these are some of what older kids know. For example I ask him what he would do if there was a fire. How would he get out at home? (1 storey house) How would he get out at our friends house (a 2 storey house) because young children think that they should go upstairs to avoid a fire downstairs which is obviously a bad move. I tell him that in some circumstances it is ok to smash windows to get out of a house or a situation. I have taught him about calling 000 or running to a neighbours house. I have taught him a signal for me if he finds himself choking and can't breathe.

    I think its good to teach them lots of things so they are prepared for anything not just stranger danger.

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    Subbing cause this is an awesomely useful thread.


 

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