Keeping Your Kiddos Safe: Teaching Your Children Stranger Safety
More than 460,000 children go missing every year. Nobody wants to imagine their child being a part of that number. The harsh reality is, any kid is vulnerable to danger. How can you best prepare your child or teen for when they encounter a stranger?
1. Don't focus on "Stranger Danger.
"The concept of "Stranger Danger" tells kids that only strangers are not to be trusted. It doesn't describe to the child what untrustworthy behavior looks like in any situation – only in situations with someone they have never met. However, 93% of sexual abuse against children is perpetrated by those they know in their environment – family, friends, teachers, coaches, etc. Kids should still be aware of stranger danger and the fundamentals that come with it: don't get into a car with a stranger, even if they offer you candy or tell you about an emergency. But teaching your children about looking out for suspicious behaviors and consent will be more effective for a wide variety of scenarios, not just with strangers.
2. Suspicious behavior and consent
Teach your child what suspicious behavior looks like while defining consent. Empowering children with the responsibility of their bodies is so important when teaching consent. Kids need to understand that they control who can and cannot touch them and can leave a situation when it feels wrong. This also brings up the topic of instincts. Kids should learn how to trust their instincts and act in situations that make them feel uncomfortable.
3. Tell your child what to do
Teach your child the power of "no." This word is essential and is something that, if taught well, will be instilled through their teen years as well. Roleplay with your child will allow them the practice of saying no in uncomfortable situations. This will also enable them to recognize the suspicious behavior that was addressed previously.
4. Designate Safe People
Give your child a list of trustworthy and safe individuals – aunt, uncle, neighbor, coworker, friend, etc. List them by name and explain to your child that only these people would ever pick your child up without you letting them know first.
When preparing your child for potential situations, it can sound scary to them. It is essential to ensure them that they are safe now with you, but in case they are ever uncomfortable or find themselves in the company of a stranger, it is crucial to be prepared.
How can Comtronics help keep your children safe?
We know how crazy life can get, especially when your kids start to have busier schedules involving school, sports, clubs, friends, and more. Comtronics has ways that you can monitor your kids' activities and ensure they are safe at home when they need to be. Here are some examples:
- With our ProSeries, you can get notifications when your alarm is disarmed and know who disarmed it. This can be confirmed with a snapshot of your Pro panel screen or video using our Total Connect cameras.
- Our ProSeries also has a feature called Arm Stay – which means you can arm the system when you or your children are home, ensuring they are safe inside and won't be leaving and nobody will be entering.
- With our Video Doorbell, you can be sure that your child will never have to answer the door when home alone. You can get notified through the Total Connect app that someone is at your door, see who it is, and have two-way communication with them.
- Another Smart Home capability is our Z-Wave door lock. This smart solution gives you the peace of mind that your child will never have to worry about losing their house key, resulting in being locked out. Our door locks allow you or your child to unlock the door right from the app.