Ask Dr. Jean: Stranger Danger


(Arti Freeman) #1

Dear Dr. Jean,

How do I support my child to be safe and alert to ‘stranger danger’ threats outside the home, while fostering independence and not instilling fear?

Thank you.

Anonymous (Parent)

In Case You Missed It - Ask Dr. Jean
(Dr. Jean Clinton) #2

Similar to the question about safety vs. taking risks, above - this is the balancing act between exposure to opportunities to learn and protecting children from risky situations. I think we need to think of teaching children not to go with adults they don’t know as a skill all children through the ages have had to learn. We always had a password that family and friends would know if someone were to be picking them up. It should not instill fear as child abduction is a very rare event, give kids the skill, should it arise and help them understand the vast majority of adults are safe and looking out for them.

The harsh reality is that most child injury and maltreatment occurs in the family home.