This Mom Wants Parents To Stop Teaching ‘Stranger Danger’ And Do It Instead

A mom asked others Parents to stop teaching their children about “stranger danger” and instead try to talk about strange behavior.

Mom and blogger Marcie Whelan says she doesn’t teach her daughters about ‘stranger danger’ because she wants them to ‘be outgoing, have conversations with people and be… hospitable to those who touch them. surround”.

In a Tiktok video titled “Why not teach a stranger about danger”Whelan says she understands where it’s coming from – “parents try to protect their children [and] keep them safe” – but, she adds, “most people are good people”.

So instead of talking about stranger danger, she suggests instead talking to children about strange behavior “because children are most often abused or hurt by people they know, whether it’s a close family member or an acquaintance is very rarely a stranger”.

She’s right, like up to 93% of child victims of sexual abuse know the abuser, according to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN).

Whelan listed some questionable behavior she wants her children to be aware of, such as someone asking them to keep a secret or asking them to go somewhere without their parents.

“My daughters know what to look for, whether it’s someone they know very well or someone they don’t know at all, that’s classed as odd behavior and so the red flags go up,” she explains.

In the UK, there has been a move away from the danger of strangers, with child safety charities focusing more on dealing with dangerous situations. But some parents — myself included — probably still look to stranger danger when thinking about how to protect their children.

The charity Action against kidnapping came up with “smart never goes” after finding the alien danger approach “doesn’t work”.

“Most strangers pose no threat to children, it’s not always strangers who try to harm children, and teaching ‘stranger danger’ creates a society full of fear and suspicion,” says the charity. .

More than 800 non-parental child abduction offenses were recorded by police in the UK last year, so it’s important to teach children how to stay safe.

“Clever Never Goes” teaches children that they should never go anywhere with anyone – i.e. a stranger or a familiar face – unless plans have been made in advance.

“It tells them that following the rules makes them smart, gives them the confidence to trust their instincts and teaches them how to react to dangerous situations,” the charity says.

Along the same lines as “smart never goes”, Bradford District NHS Foundation Trust urges parents teach children to identify and respond to threatening situations, rather than specific people, with an emphasis on their “safety, not their fear”.

“Tell me right away if someone asks you to keep a secret, makes you feel uncomfortable, or tries to get you to go away with them.”

– An example of what parents might say to children instead of warning of stranger danger.

He advises letting children know who they can trust if they need help – like a uniformed police officer or a teacher – and explaining that they should tell a trusted adult if they have been approached by a stranger or if they feel uncomfortable about a situation.

They caution against using language like “never talk to strangers” or “stay away from people you don’t know” and instead focus on paying attention to what you’re doing. the people.

You may want to tell your child, “Tell me right away if someone asks you to keep a secret, makes you feel uncomfortable, or tries to talk you into going with them.” or “it’s important for you to ask me and get my permission before going anywhere with anyone.”

If a child has a problem or gets lost, you could say, “Don’t approach just anyone – if you need help, look for a policeman in uniform, a store clerk with a badge or parent with children.

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