Considering most abuse is perpetrated by family members or close family friends, I think it's more important to teach kids about having ownership of their own body, what is/isn't safe touching, that we don't keep secrets in our family, etc. DD was never out of our sights in public as a toddler/preschooler, so stranger danger just wasn't relevant at that age.
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17-03-2014 20:32 #11
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17-03-2014 20:32 #12
I think for 2-3 year olds you need to trust their instincts, if they don't want to say hi to an adult, don't make them. When your alone ask them why, especially if it's out of character.
When my DD was 4, we were on holidays in a lift and a man said hello to her & said how pretty she was, DD hid behind me and wouldn't talk to the man. DD is usually very social and loves to have a chat. After he left the elevator I asked her why she didn't want to say hi, she told me when she looked at him she felt yucky in the tummy.
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17-03-2014 20:51 #13
17-03-2014 21:59 #14
A few things I have done with my son:
-He knows a good secret vs a bad secret. A good secret is a secret that lasts for a short time ie keeping a bday party or present a secret. A good secret will be told. A bad secret will not.
-It's good to be polite and listen to adults you know but you don't need to do what a stranger tells you or someone you know tells you if you don't feel it's right (mum will always back you if someone says you didn't follow an instruction that they wanted you to)
-If someone wants you to go with them for a surprise, a lolly, see a puppy etc don't. Mum will always buy you a better/bigger surprise, more lollies than you can imagine and you can have any puppy you want etc etc.
-We have a mum/ds password which only him and I know. (Dd will learn it later).
-Adults don't ask children for help. Children ask adults. Any adult asking ds for help will need to ask mum first.
I also have set the foundations with my son not to growl at him so he can always be open with me. Ie If he knocks over his water glass or he makes a mistake theirs no growling. If I do growl because he hasn't paid attention in a carpark etc I stop and explain mum got a fright and she yelled out of fear and I apologise for doing it.
We talk often about our feelings and how some people make us feel and where in the body that feeling occurred. I want him to have a good sense of self and intuition.
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17-03-2014 23:37 #15
18-03-2014 03:32 #16Senior Member
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Thanks for this topic op
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18-03-2014 08:16 #17
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Ds7 and I have had many conversations about similar topics. I have always portrayed to him that bad ppl don't look like they do in cartoons. They aren't all creepy looking guys in beanies and that ladies, grandmas and young men can all be not very nice ppl. The difference is your gut feeling and how they approach you.
ie- someone saying 'hello' as we walk past them at the park is a different gut feeling than an adult asking a child for help with their belt buckle in the public toilets.
Ds has always been encouraged to trust his gut. Inside it feels different if someone asks you to do something that seems strange or not normal to him.
We have had many discussions about adults being stronger than kids. If someone grabbed him he wouldn't be able to kick or punch his way out. He is to bite HARD and scream STRANGER over and over and make as much noise as possible. Anything less is likely to seem that a child is having a tantrum with his dad/mother etc and isn't likely to cause suspicion.
We have been consistent in ensuring that we are the only ones that collect ds from school. He is never to get in a car with anyone else that arrives to collect him that hasn't been discussed with him before hand even if he knows them. He goes to the school office and they call me to confirm if necessary. He is to never open the front door for anyone. He tells me there is someone there and wait.
Sounds quite harsh when I write it down. But when we are consistent with these behaviours over a course of many yrs I am hopeful that if (god forbid) anything was to happen out of the ordinary he would be highly attuned to it since we have been following these processes so stringently.
18-03-2014 09:18 #18
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18-03-2014 09:41 #19
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18-03-2014 09:52 #20Senior Member
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- Oct 2007
I personally think Stranger Danger on its own is a dangerous message. As per PP's Body Integrity, Good secrets/bad secrets etc are far safer messages to teach kids
I also teach my kids that a known person out of context is also a 'stranger' - ie the person at the Bakery we say Hello too every second day is someone we say then say hello to and walk away from if they approach them in the street/at the park.
I explain that NOONE may touch them in away that makes them uncomfortable, no one can touch them in the areas their bathers cover etc unless it's a doctor etc and either DP or myself have said it's okay.
There are some great books to introduce the topic - Everyone's got a bottom is the first one that springs to mind.
As for runners (DD was a repeat offender as soon as we got into a shopping centre) - I used to write my mobile number on the inside of her arm and I used to take a photo of her on my phone as soon as we got to a shopping centre so I knew exactly what she was wearing/looked like - in my distress when she ran away I sometime couldn't remember what she'd dressed herself in that day and she NEVER looked like her kinder photos etc on shopping days.
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