It is no secret that we seem to live in an increasingly dangerous world, and to parents the dangers can seem doubly alarming. From the sound of the news reports, predators and dubious strangers are lurking around every corner, under every swing on the playground and of course behind every innocent looking computer screen. With all this information at hand, it can be difficult to raise a child who is wary, yet not paranoid about the danger signs of modern life.
It is important for all moms and dads to step back and consider the problem of "stranger danger" from a rational perspective. This can of course be difficult to do with such an emotionally charged subject, but it is important if one is to raise confident kids who are able to tell the difference between real and exaggerated threats.
Simply telling children "don't talk to strangers" is overly simplistic, and a child who truly never talked to anyone he or she did not know would have a limited social circle indeed. The key is to educate the child about the types of situations he or she is likely to encounter, and to know when to seek help when the situation does not seem quite right.
While it is certainly important to educate kids about the dangers some strangers can pose, it is important not to paint a negative picture of the world, especially for young children. Little kids can be quite impressionable, and teaching that child that each new experience or activity is potentially dangerous can result in a timid child who never takes risks, and an equally timid and unfulfilled adult.
The better approach is to carefully inform your little ones that there are bad people in the world, and to offer practical safety tips on what to do when trouble arises. Instead of focusing on the details of those dangerous people, focus instead on practical solutions, such as picking up a telephone and dialing 911 for help, or screaming to get the attention of passersby. These types of practical actions can help the child feel empowered, rather than frightened and intimidated.
It is of course important for moms and dads to play an active role in the lives and schedules of their young children, and to know where they are at all times. Knowing the activities in which the child is enrolled, and what time they are expected home, can provide a much needed heads up in case of danger.
The modern world offers a number of new alternatives when it comes to child safety. For instance, even many little kids these days are carrying cell phones around, and those handheld devices can certainly come in handy in the event of an emergency. It is up to every parent to decide whether or not his or her child is mature enough for the responsibility of a cell phone, and there are a number of specialized cell phones on the market which are designed exclusively for the younger set.
It is also a good idea to get to know your children's friends, and their parents. Parents can form a strong circle of safety around the children in their care, alerting one another if something seems out of the ordinary. It is important to keep the lines of communication open in order to keep those children protected and safe.
In the meanwhile, there are things you can do right away like sign up for the free Child Safety Kit offered by the Polly Klaas Foundation. Along the same line, this site also offer other child related sample offers that may interest your child. We invite you to check out our Kids Stuff page for more great offers..