We all want our children to understand stranger danger. We want to teach them the skills to walk home from school, stay home alone and even go to a public place by themselves, when the time is right. We want to know our children will know what to do and how to stay safe when they are out in the world on their own.
In our Stranger Danger; Internet Safety & Bullying 101 online course, we teach the participants to recognize what a stranger is, how it may be somebody that you don’t know at all, or somebody they don’t know very well. That a stranger can be a man, or a woman, or a teenager. A stranger can be any height, any size or any age.
But, what is a safe stranger? This may be confusing to teach a child what a safe stranger is, as we have been telling them to avoid strangers, don’t talk to strangers, but it is important to teach them who a safe stranger is.
A good place to find a Safe Stranger is in a safe place. The best type of safe place is always in a busy public area. A safe stranger is someone that your child doesn’t know very well or they have never met before, that can be trusted to help them.
For example, we don’t know all of the Firefighters or Police Officers that come to our aid but we can think of them as Safe Strangers. Safe Strangers are people who can be trusted to help us in a public place when they are at work and doing their job. For instance, if a child is attending a hockey game at a local arena, the area can be a big place. There may not be a firefighter there, or a police officer, but there are office staff and arena staff. So if there was ever a problem, they could go to one of these staff members and recognize that these are safe strangers. Another example may be that a child walks to the local grocery store, to pick up a few things for their family. The safe strangers in this location will be the cashiers, the managers and the general workers.
It is important to go through a list of safe strangers in your life that you can think of together with your child so that they know who they can call on or rely on in case there is ever an emergency. It would be a good idea to keep this list in your child’s school bag so that this can help them to remember who are the safe strangers in their life, if an emergency occurs for them. Sometimes, when you are under stress, you cannot always remember things very clearly. So, if a child is stressed about who they should go to for help or who they can rely on, all they need to do is open up their bag and pull out the list.
It is recommended that your child has a designated area in their bag where they can keep their safe strangers list, their route to walk to and from school, a mini first aid kit, a noisemaker and any other safety tools to help keep them as safe as possible.
We hope that this helps you to teach your children what a safe stranger is and a little bit more about stranger danger. We know our society is a little different then it was 20 years ago growing up and we don’t exactly have block parents anymore, so we need to move with the times and understand who we can and cannot trust in order to keep our children as safe as possible.
If you are looking to teach your children more about safety, please visit our website at: www.yourdigitalclassroom.com to learn more.