Teaching them about 'Stranger Danger'

Discussion in 'The Toddler Years(1-3)' started by melissak, Feb 27, 2011.

  1. melissak

    melissak Well-Known Member

    I feel like it's time to talk about stranger danger with the boys but I don't want to scare them. Also I want to talk to them about that it's not ok for other people to touch them in certain places, etc...but I'm not sure how to go about it. Again, I don't want to scare them and I certainly don't want to say the wrong thing. Any book suggestions or advice?

    Also, lately my one guy will see a man with long hair in public and say really loud...is that a girl??? Also we saw a woman with short hair and he asked if it was a boy. Also, he has been asking about why people are in wheel chairs, etc. Any advice and what to say other then "Shhhhhhh...that's not nice"??!!!

  2. dfaut

    dfaut 30,000-Post Club

    Please please please consider reading Free Range Kids. At this age, I did the "Safe Side Videos" and for this age, I like it, but I really really really really (get the idea?) LOVE Free Range Kids. Here's a link to the book!

    In a nutshell, it will give you real world statistics about how we are as safe now as we were in the 70's and is FULL OF COMMON SENSE that just makes sense. It will put you more at ease about so many things. Even though your kids are too young to be free-range, you'll sleep better at night!!!
    1 person likes this.
  3. dfaut

    dfaut 30,000-Post Club

    I wanted to add that Free-Range kids in combo with Safe Side Kids can be really good! Free-Range kids isn't going to suggest that your little one's run free. But teaching them about letting you know where they are and they need to let you know etc. and that crimes against kids are down!

    The premise is - Talk to strangers, but don't GO with strangers.
  4. becasquared

    becasquared Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I live free range parenting. Or at least I try to! The best thing is, I no longer feel guilty leaving them in the booth at a restaurant when I have to leave the booth. I just ask the person at the next table to keep an eye on them and tell them where I'm going. I'm usually back within a minute or two and it's usually because one has to pee and the other one doesn't want to go.

    As for the comments that they make, well, they're just observations, there are no negative connotations in their heads. Why isn't it nice that they mention that someone is in a wheelchair? Isn't that a learning experience? Why wouldn't you just say, "yes, that person is in a wheelchair, they probably have a hard time walking. Do you like their wheelchair? Isn't it a cool color/nice bag on the back/stickers on the back?"

    "No, not every boy has short hair, some have long hair, some have no hair, some have curly hair, some have straight hair, some have a ring of hair, some have mustaches and beards." "Doesn't her short hair look nice? Ms. So and so has short hair too, remember?" So what they're saying isn't negative, it's simply the truth. It's all about how you respond to their comments.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Leighann

    Leighann Well-Known Member

    Have you been stalking me Bex? :laughing: Those are some of the very same things I say to my girls when they make comments. I've also had little girls at the park ask my girls why their mommy has boy hair (I have very short hair). Its so nice to hear them parrot back things I've told them ("Some girls have short hair and some boys have long hair!").

    As for the stranger danger and inappropriate touch, DH and I have just recently started telling them its ok to talk to strangers if mommy or daddy are there. If they get separated from us (its happened more than once with Meara), I've told them to go find a mommy or a police officer. Inappropriate touch was brought up by our pediatrician. She talked to the girls at their 3 year visit. She told them about private parts and said that only certain people can touch or look at these parts (mommy, daddy, sitter, doctor). She did it in a very straight forward way right after asking them about wearing helmets while riding bikes :D So its just another issue about being safe.

    Hope this all makes sense.. still working on my first cup of coffee this morning :wacko:
  6. ECUBitzy

    ECUBitzy Well-Known Member

    I agree with everything Bex said. Kids are very observant and I think that our goal should be to help influence how the interpret their observations rather than prevent them altogether.
  7. dfaut

    dfaut 30,000-Post Club

    I've heard about a book called the "bathing suit book" or something that teaches them about their private parts remaining private.... I'll have to look it up!

    Love those ideas for commenting on when they observe something or someone different than they have ever noticed....
  8. rrodman

    rrodman Well-Known Member

    I handle comments pretty much exactly as Bex described. I also bring up differences on my own. I show them lots of pictures of different types of people in books and magazines and make positive observations about them.
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