Our lives are busy and talking about stranger danger can easily be forgotten. Do you really know how much of this your child has absorbed? A social experiment conducted in America showed that even though parents had confidence that their child would not go off with a stranger, the child did in every instance shown.
Joey approached parents watching their child in a park. He explains that he is conducting a social experiment on young kids. He asks how often do they tell their child to not talk to strangers. He also asks if their child would talk to him or run back to them. Every parent expected their child would come to them, not go with Joey. Notice each Mum's face when they see what their child does. I would be horrified too. I never want to go through those kind of feelings, as no parent does.
They have developed a safety message system:
React is about escaping and calling for help.
Report is about telling an adult who cares about your safety.
The Daniel Morcombe Foundation also has a number of videos about safety you can watch. This video below about getting lost at the shopping centre resonated with me. Every time we go to a place that is crowded, like The Royal Show, a Spring festival or any other event that is big and has a lot of people, I talk to my son beforehand. We talk about contact information and where the agreed place to meet is, if he gets separated from us. I've recently reminded him about approaching a Mum with kids if he is lost. Please watch this video with your child.
We have a Family Rules folder. I made this a while ago. I've added a few bits and pieces to it over time. It's starts with agreed family rules like:
* Have manners
* Treat others how you want to be treated
* Take turns to speak and listen
* Respect each other
* No lying
Amongst a few other things, we also have a list of virtues. This folder we have is the perfect place to keep these printouts from The Daniel Morcombe Foundation. Of course it is easy to go back to their website, but now that I've printed them off to read and discuss, I will keep these in that folder.
Perth based Kidzucate runs a Child Safety Program for primary aged children in years 1 to 3. They cover the following topics:
1. All about strangers
2. Your body belongs to you
3. Strangers aren't bad, they are just strangers
4. It's your body
"All lessons are conducted in the classroom and each program is hands-on, fun, positive, non-explicit and non-threatening. The programs can be delivered in one session, run over a couple of weeks, or custom designed to suit a school or group's specific need." If you would like more information on this program being run at your school or when the next class will be held, please contact Kidzucate.