The idea that kids should never talk to strangers, can actually put them at greater risk if they should find themselves in a situation where they are isolated and need assistance.
When you feel your child is ready to understand, teach them to engage in simple conversation with others when you are out together. Communication is a skill, and it’s not just about words, but also body language. After such interactions, you can discuss your thoughts about the person. Is this someone you could ask for help? You can even “test” your children to look at a crowd in a busy mall and see who they would feel comfortable asking for help if they needed it.
Statistically speaking, men are much more likely to sexually abuse than women – most experts recommend that children in need seek out a woman, especially a “mom” with children, or an older woman.
Analyze body language together with your child, noticing the way a person smiles, how they stand, where they put their hands, their eye movement. These are important skills in helping our children hone their own sense of instinct and also gaining the ability to speak confidently with others.
Sections on this page have been adapted from TheMamaBearEffect