Kids and Strangers
Who is a Stranger?
Rule number 1: A stranger is someone you don't know.
We take it for granted that everyone knows a stranger when they see one. Studies have revealed, however, that children often don't know what a stranger is. Our children watch us interact with people we know, as well as people we don't know.
It is when they are alone or with their friends that we become concerned and worry if they have the ability to use reasonable judgment.
We should begin teaching our children some basic facts of living in a world that is made up of mostly strangers. Through questions and discussions with our children, we discover what they have learned about living in the world and what more they need to know.
As we know, our children are most important to us. Too often, young children trust a kindly stranger.
Since child abduction is unfortunately with us, the best defense against it is to teach children how to avoid it.
Take time to listen to your child. Do not dismiss what your child tells you as exaggeration or a figment of the imagination. Role playing is a proven method to help your child deal effectively with life's unpleasant realities.
Parents Teaching Children About Strangers
- Teach your children their full name, your full name, address, and telephone number.
- Teach them how to reach either you or a trusted adult and how to call for police assistance.
- Teach your children to use both push-button and rotary telephones.
- Make sure they know how to make a local and long-distance telephone call. Even a small child can be taught to dial 9-1-1. If a child calls 9-1-1, we will have the address where he/she is calling from. If they are at a phone booth, they do not have to use money to dial 9-1-1.
- Listen attentively if your children talk about anyone they encounter in your absence. Advise the school, as well as law enforcement, of any suspicious persons or circumstances.
- Establish strict procedures for picking your children up at school. Establish a family secret code word. Inform your children to never go with anyone who does not know the code word.
- Have photographs of your children taken at least four times a year. Make note of birthmarks and other distinguishing features.
- Practice with your children how to get out of the house in case of an emergency.
Open communication is the key to a safe family.
Rules for Children About Strangers
- Do not talk to strangers (men, women or children).
- If a stranger tries to talk to you, say, "No, get away," and tell someone you know and trust!
- Never get into a stranger's car or go near it. Never take candy, gift, or money from a stranger. Never help a stranger look for or take care of a lost or injured pet.
- Always remember to tell your parents where you are going and whom you are going with.
- Do not play in isolated or construction areas.
- Talk to your parents, and get a secret password.
- Walk or play with a friend--this is called the "buddy system."
- While shopping, stay close to your parents. If separated, go to a store clerk.
- Know where the list of emergency telephone numbers is located.
- Never tell anyone your name over the telephone.
- Don't let a stranger into your home.
- Never tell anyone that you are home alone.
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This City of Stockton webpage last reviewed on --- 3/21/2011