5. Stranger Danger

Though it’s very rare occurrence, there is probably nothing as terrifying to a parent as the possibility of a child abduction. Fortunately, not only is this occurrence rare, there are also tools a parent can teach a child that can help reduce the risk of such a horrifying event.

First of all, experts are criticizing the concept of “stranger danger” as somewhat antiquated. Parents are encouraged to help their child recognize signs of dangerous adult behavior instead. Signs could include a grownup that is making the child uncomfortable by moving in too close. Or perhaps the adult is trying to get the child to enter a car.

Most importantly, the child is made to understand that the suspicious adult in question need not be a stranger.

If Saturday’s martial arts teacher suddenly shows up on the playground on a weekday, asking the child to help “find his lost dog,” the child should say no and move away. Though the person isn’t technically a stranger, why is he asking the child for help? Adults are supposed to ask other adults for assistance, not children.

Fortunately, there’s a great website kidsmartz.org that provides helpful hints, videos, and other resources to help parents keep their children safer.

Of course, at the end of the day, we know we can't protect our child from everything. We can’t save our children from every scraped knee or defuse every schoolyard bully. But it’s good to know we can create some safeguards for our children—and maybe in the process gain a little peace of mind for ourselves.

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