There have been investigations done recently proving that parents who believe this are dead wrong! In one of these investigations, a “fake predator” approached children in a park while their mothers were otherwise preoccupied. (The mothers had agreed to take part in the experiment and were aware of what was happening.)
Seven out of nine children agreed to go with the man because of his warm friendly approach. These children felt no concern about stranger danger.
Showing the child a picture of the dog, the man asked one of the five-year old children if he wanted to help him find his lost dog named Maxie. The child eagerly began to shout, “Maxie.” The man bent down to the child and offered him a tennis ball to hold, telling him that the ball was Maxie’s favorite toy. Then, he asked the child if he would help him by throwing the ball. The five year old was thrilled at the opportunity of helping the nice man find his dog. Without any hesitation, the young boy ran off with the man across the park. He had never seen this individual prior to the previous few minutes. The child felt no eminent stranger danger.
The “fake stranger” was a dad himself and he knew exactly what to do and say to get the children to trust him. Each of the mothers was confident that her child would not go with the stranger but seven out of nine children did. He succeeded in convincing the children to go with him easily. With one child it took thirty three seconds and the one requiring the most time took just three minutes to convince.
Most parents do what they can to prepare their children for the possibility of being encountered by predators both on line and in person. Often they explain the possibility of physical encounters but they have no clue as to how quickly things can happen or different ways that children can be enticed.
Stranger Danger – Teaching Children Effectively
- Teach children that strangers can look nice and act nice.
- Teach children that they should NEVER walk away with someone they don’t know no matter what.
- Teach children that if they are approached, they should shout, “No” in order to attract attention.
- Have a plan in case you are late in picking them up. Have a specific predetermined adult who will come for them if you can’t.
The take away from this should be that parents need to practice what ifs with their children. Drawing pictures and role playing can be effective tools in teaching young children the realities of stranger danger.
Asking a child to draw a stranger will give an indication as to what he or she thinks a stranger might look like. Telling a child that a stranger would tell lies is very different from acting out a scenario such as the one mentioned above to paint the picture of what kinds of things strangers might do.
Bullies are Cruel and that’s why I am not a bully and won’t be a bully. When people are cruel, they make others feel bad about themselves and that’s not something I want to do! I bet you don’t want to bully either.
Why do some people want to be cruel? I really don’t get it because cruel acts or words cause pain or suffering. I think that some people are cruel because they don’t understand just how badly they make people feel when they are bullied. I hope it isn’t because they don’t care.
I think everyone needs to take action when they see any kind of cruelty. Parents can teach their kids a lot so that they won’t bully and will help when kids are being bullied.
Teachers can teach their students about how to lower the number of bullying events at school.
Three rules that parents and teachers can teach kids so they won’t bully:
- Don’t put kids into categories. See each kid as an individual.
- Remember that all kids have a story and reasons why they act the way they do.
- When you look at other kids, think about their lives and the problems they may have.
When kids follow these three rules, I bet they will be less likely to be cruel to other kids. After all, how would they like it if they were bullied?
Let’s all work together and make sure that we make a difference for kids who are being bullied.