As soon as children are able to understand what a stranger is, parents need to begin educating children about strangers. The first most important idea to teach a child is to never go anywhere without first telling mom or dad.
Defining a stranger is difficult when a child sees the whole world as their friend. A stranger is a person the child and the parent do not know the person’s name or where that person lives.
The second most important idea is that strangers do not ask children for help. There are no exceptions to this rule. Adults may only ask other adults for help. If a stranger asks a child for help, the child should ignore the question and run in the opposite direction.
For instance, let us say an adult male pulls over in his car and asks a seven-year old young woman walking her dog down the street for directions to the city zoo. This is a child lure, designed to get the child to come closer to the car so the stranger can the grab the child and pull the child into the car. This is an attempted abduction. He may not try if the child fails to come close to the car. If a grownup needs directions, he can ask another adult.
Parents need to help each child define what a stranger is to that individual child. Children must understand that although not all strangers are bad, it is impossible to look at a person and be able to tell if they are a good person or a bad person. This is hard for children to grasp. Children think strangers or bad people “look” different. They do not.
Parents, let us take an apple for instance. One might pick the most beautiful green apple off an apple tree, and it may look like a good apple from the outside. Yet, when the apples is home, washed, and finally sliced into, there in the middle of the apple one finds a large worm.
One might say if one eats enough apples in a lifetime, eventually one is bound to cut into one of those beautiful apples to find an icky worm. Sadly, people are the same way. Eventually one is bound to run into some people who are not nice people. Yet how will you know.
Children do not have the life experience to judge people adequately, based on looks. At their young age, it is best if they simply do not talk to anyone, they do not know the name or their home address. Remember, not even an adult can look at another adult at first sight and tell if they are a good or bad person.
This writer is starting a series of articles on child lures and the tactics child predators use to try to lure children and teens away from safety. If readers would like to share their own stories, please e-mail me and I will see if I can use your story in future articles with your written consent. You can choose to remain unnamed in the article.
Until next time may, angels surround all of you and keep you safe.