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Apryl Duncan

Having the Stranger Danger Talks

By January 31, 2013

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My 6 year old is a friendly little guy. He's the first to greet new kids on the playground and he loves holding the door open for people while telling them to have a good day.

A picture of a girl steering clear of a stranger
Teaching kids about stranger danger is a necessary lesson.
Photo © Flying Colours Ltd / Getty Images
He's so sweet and innocent, yet today's world forces us to teach our kids about stranger danger pretty early on in their lives. So we've started talking about the differences between strangers and friends.

However, I'm not perfect and he's not an adult who completely understands, "Don't talk to strangers. The guy down the street may be friendly but that doesn't mean he's really our friend. You can talk to kids on the playground but not the adults at the grocery store."

It's confusing enough for us adults!

We're working on it and, for the most part, he gets the difference between strangers and friends. But we have had a couple of awkward moments in public. Strangers being polite to Mommy have led to my 6 year old proclaiming, "We can't talk to you!" or "Don't come closer. You're a stranger!"

I smile and explain what we're learning so they don't think my little man is being rude. I won't apologize for preparing my child for dangerous situations, though.

Of course, it's a shame our kids have to learn these things at all. And I hope everything I'm teaching him about stranger danger is a lesson he never has to use. In case he ever is in a situation where he feels threatened, I know I'm doing everything I can to keep him safe.

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