I pray this does not happen to anybody! Child abduction is perhaps the most horrifying thing that can happen to parents, and is especially one of the greatest fears of mothers who have newly delivered. Given this, a number of parents are still in doubt as to what they should do in order to ensure that their children are absolutely safe from child abductors. Can you really teach anything to your child that will bring down the chances of their being prey to child abductors? Let us see.
I think all of you know this. One common warning that we convey to our children as parents is that they must never engage in any kind of conversation with strangers. The phrase “stranger danger” is often used to refer to this warning. However, a number of experts opine that this phrase “stranger danger” should not be used since it is not appropriate and is many a time not properly comprehended by children. As per the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, there is often a tendency in children to relate the term “bad” to a person who acts means or looks ugly (while the child might not be afraid of a person whose appearance is “nice”). Moreover, the common belief among children is that if they have talked once or twice to a person, he or she no longer remains a stranger.
It is a sad but true fact that kids who get abducted have high probability of being lured by someone they already know or have some familiarity. A person whose goal is to abduct a kid will possibly come up with some or the other way to be polite to the child in order to gain the child’s trust and persuade him or her to accompany. In short a person who wants to abduct a child would gradually mold the scenario in such a manner that the child does not consider him to be a stranger.
Again, the “stranger danger” warning phrase could do more harm than good by making a child stay away from turning to persons who might actually help, such as security officers, firemen, store managers, policemen, and so on. I was reading somewhere that at least one case exists where a child who has been missing avoided speaking to his rescuers simply owing to the fact that he has been told not to speak to people who are strangers.
The most effective way in which you can help your child is by teaching certain fundamentals about safety. For instance, they should never go out without being accompanied by anyone, they should not get into another person’s house or car without discussing with one or both parents and if they feel that they are in danger, they should tell their parents or any other trustworthy person immediately. It is also a great thing if you help your children know their phone number, address and full name at an early age. Your children should also be well-versed with the fact that being safe is more important that exhibiting good manners when they find that an unknown person is making an effort to talk to them or convince them to accompany him somewhere.
Children should also be taught to react to scary situations if they experience these. Below are some effective lessons you can ask them to follow.
- In case the kid is lost, he should remain in the same place. This is because if they leave that place, searching for them would become difficult.
- In case they require help, they should reach out to an adult person wearing a uniform or a nametag (I imply security officers, police and the like).
- If a child is alone and feels intimidated suspecting some probable danger, you should teach them to blow a whistle, yell or make any other noise. This way they can easily fall into the notice of others, who can help them.
Also, if your child knows how to make use of the computer or is just beginning to use the device, you need to be more careful about safety. When your child is doing something with the computer, be with them and do not forget to install proper filters and blocking software.