Some of your very first memories are probably of your parents telling you of the dangers of strangers. They have constantly told you to stay away from them. Do not talk to them. Never do anything that they say or take anything from them. Stay away, no matter what. Most babies just have an innate fear of people they do not know. The reality is that some babies are not afraid of strangers. Even when you tell them of the dangers of strangers, they may even find it hard to resist engaging with people they do not know personally. This will be somewhat overwhelming for a parent. Yes, it will drive your stress level to an all-time high. There are ways that you can address this issue and try to alleviate the dangers and keep your baby safe at all times. Keep reading for tips.
1. Talk To Your Baby Often About The Dangers
Talking to your children about the dangers of the world can fuel an entirely different fire. It can ignite other fears and start anxiety within your child. You have to approach this conversation with baby steps, but do not avoid it. It has to be done. You can not put it off, or it will be too late. Parents must choose their words wisely. You know your child better than anyone and you know what you can say and what you can’t. Be mindful of that. Regardless, be sure to cover the basics and get the point across. Don’t be afraid to do some research ahead of time. Get some statistics depending on the age and comprehension level of your child. Ask friends and family for tips if you need them. You will feel more comfortable if you are sending your child out in the world with good information about the dangers that they may come in contact with.
2. Do Not Leave/Send Your Child Anywhere Alone
You may feel that you do not send your child anywhere alone, but you take for granted that there are some places that you let your child roam a little more freely. In safe spaces, you may let your child go places by themselves as an affirmation of freedom or growth. At church, you often let a child go to the restroom alone. At a small town familiar corner store, you may let your child go to the next aisle over. This would be okay if your child didn’t have a propensity to talk to strangers, but yours does. You need to be even more careful. Do not let your child out of your sight. Don’t turn into the crazy mom, but have your eyes on your child at all times. Try walking your child to the church bathroom door and letting them go in alone where there are only one entrance and exit. There are ways to allow them to have that freedom still while still protecting them.
3. Show Your Child When To Engage With People
Children have to learn many things. One of those things is how to engage with people in general. You can teach them when to engage with anyone. This is the perfect opportunity to teach them when to talk to people they see in public. For instance: You can teach your child to speak to people when they see them merely but do not converse when they are passing. Do not take things from them no matter what they are, such as candy or gifts. Only ask questions from authority figures such as police officers, security guards, or workers in a building.
When you are teaching your children, these general rules of thumb, tell them why you are doing this. Be sure to practice what you preach so that they will mimic what they see you do as they grow older. It is all about what they see. Most often children will behave in a manner that they see their parents behave and their learning will come from that so if you speak it to them and then they can see it, you will be able to teach it to them.
4. Practice With Your Child If They Ever Get In A Bad Situation
Although you hope never to have to rescue your child from a bad situation, you have to be prepared. Your child needs to know what measures to take if there is ever a time that something goes wrong when engaging with a stranger. Let’s face it; we live in a day in time where children are kidnapped regularly. Therefore we need to be prepared. Most often, children are recovered because of the actions of the child themselves. It helps when the child can remain calm and think of what their parents taught them. This will get them back home safely as quickly as possible.
5. Do Not Fuss, But Remain Firm & Consistent
This is not a joking manner. Children are missing daily because of strangers preying on the weaknesses of children. The only way to combat that is to make sure that they are aware. Do not laugh at the actions of your child. Do not tell friends in front of your children that they are not afraid of strangers and make light of the situation. This can put them in a very bad position. The child will hear you and feel as if it is not as serious as you have told them. They will not trust what you are trying to teach them. He or she will ultimately not practice the ideas that you have told them. They will not use the tools that you have given them, and the outcome could be bad in the end if they face an adult that wants to do them harm. You hold the key to set examples, so you must be firm without coming off as fussing. Your fussing will discourage your child. Try to sound encouraging and consistent in a positive tone.
Strangers should scare almost anyone, but they don’t. They, for sure, do not scare every child. If your child happens to be the child that is not afraid of a stranger, try the following:
- Talk To Your Baby Often About The Dangers
- Do Not Leave/Send Your Child Anywhere Alone
- Show Your Child When To Engage With People
- Practice With Your Child If They Ever Get In A Bad Situation
- Do Not Fuss, But Remain Firm & Consistent
Raising a child is a scary situation all in itself, but it can be a beautiful one as well. Take your time through the learning process. You have to feel your way through. Read a bunch and tailor your methods to your child because that is the only way to make sure that you are the best mom that you can be.