How To Start Teaching Stranger Danger To Toddlers
As soon your toddler starts walking and talking, it is time to start teaching them about stranger danger. As a parent you will do anything to keep your child from harm. Toddlers just don’t get it. They want to have fun and explore their world. They will happily run off to anything that catches their eye and they trust everyone. With so many cases of child abuse occurring from someone they know, it is never too early to start with simple stranger danger lessons to make your child aware of right and wrong.
Easy ways to help your child understand that not everyone is good
Feelings – help children understand the feelings they are experiencing and the names associated with them. They will then be able to tell you when they are ‘scared’, ‘sad’ or ‘angry’. When they recognise feelings that are uncomfortable encourage them to say NO, to anyone that may be causing them.
Private Space – toddlers need to learn about private space and body parts. Help them understand that touching others in this space is not ok for them to do or too have done to them.
Ask Permission – little ones need to learn to ask permission before bounding off after their next conquest. If they want to pat a dog, pick up a bug or talk to someone they don’t know. They must get your approval first.
Dobbing – no-one likes a tattler, but with toddlers it is best not to stop them from telling you when someone has done something wrong in their eyes. Allowing them to express this without reprimand will keep the line of communication open between you and your child and they will tell you their concerns rather than keep them to themselves.
Awareness – Start creating awareness that not everyone your child comes in contact with is safe. Encourage them to converse with people you do come in contact with outside the home when you give them your approval. Teach them about police officers, and help them recognise the uniform they wear.
Being a toddler is such an exciting time, there is a big world of amazing things to discover and they simply have no fear. Encourage your child to talk about anything that is upsetting them. This is the only way to discover if anything has been occurring that may be endangering your child and may trigger a ‘light bulb’ moment for you. It really is never too soon to start building your toddlers awareness to stranger danger.