It’s every parent’s worst nightmare, but unfortunately, child abductions happen every day. The fact is that in the United States a kid is abducted every 40 seconds.
In most cases, proper training and awareness could prevent this from happening. It is important for every parent to teach their children the tactics of child predators and how to respond to them.
Why “Stranger Danger” Doesn’t Work
The first thing you need to know is that things like “don’t talk to strangers” or “stranger danger” does NOT work. There’s hardly a parent in the world who hasn’t told their child to not to talk to strangers, but this by itself is not helpful and for a number of reasons.
First of all, who qualifies as a “stranger”? Is the mailman a stranger? What about the guy who rides down your street on his bike every day at 3pm and waves to the kids? What about the guy that has been sitting and smiling at the kids at the park every day for 2 weeks? The truth is that most child abductions are committed by someone the child knows or has seen before, not a complete stranger.
The lines between “stranger” and “danger” are further blurred by the fact that certain strangers are usually good and helpful. Teachers, good Samaritan citizens, store clerks, police officers, firemen, and doctors can all be strangers but are not typically harmful. In fact, it is precisely “strangers” like these that your kids should seek out if someone tries to harm them.
Children, by nature, are trusting and vulnerable which makes them easy targets for predators. It’s difficult for a child to know a helpful stranger from harmful one. Instilling a fear of all strangers could keep your child from speaking out in a crucial time of need. Parents need something better than this.
“Don’t talk to strangers” Is NOT Enough.
The important distinction kids need to make is not strangers vs. non-strangers but good people vs. bad people. But of course, that raises the question, how is a child supposed to tell the difference between good people and bad people?
If you ask a child what a bad guy looks like they may use descriptive words to paint the picture of someone “mean” or “scary”. But the truth is that you cannot tell a good guy or bad guy by what they look like. Many child predators fool kids by approaching them with a friendly smile and a giving hand.
What kids need is a simple rule. The one I recommend is this:
The best way for a child to tell good people from bad people is by focusing on their actions.
Certain actions should be a warning sign that a person has bad intentions. Warn your child that kidnappers will usually try to act friendly. Teach your kids to look at a person’s behavior and not how friendly they look. No matter how nice a person acts or friendly they seem, if they do certain things they should be treated as bad.
Your child has to be taught to focus on key behavioral warning signs.
A common tactic of child predators is to use things like a puppy or candy to lure a child away from a public area to a car where they can take them away.
So what have you taught your child? Watch the above video and ask yourself – what would your child do in this situation?
The sad fact is that many parents live in denial. They think that bad things only happen to other people. Don’t let this be you. Just like you wouldn’t let your child ride in a car without a seatbelt, don’t let them go through life in our dangerous world without knowing some of the important street smarts and basic techniques they need to stay safe.
Having a child fall victim to an abductor is one of the most horrific things that a parent can experience.
Want more? Get this FREE book to learn the most HARDCORE, IN-DEPTH, and PRACTICAL ways to keep your kids safe from kidnappings and abductors. Packed with helpful information that can save your kid’s lives, How To Keep Your Kids Safe is a must for every parent concerned for their child’s safety.