Teaching stranger safety for preschoolers can be a daunting task, but there are some useful tips that can help parents and teachers to show those little ones just how important it is to be vigilant when it comes to strangers.
The first thing to remember when discussing stranger safety for preschoolers is the importance of not frightening the child. The last thing you want to teach a preschooler is that everyone around him is somehow dangerous. You want the child to feel secure in the world that he lives in. Explain that most strangers are kind, but there are a few that want to harm other people. The next thing to discuss is appropriate stranger behavior. Explain to your child that a stranger saying hello is okay, but a stranger that asks the child to go somewhere with him/her is not okay. Explain to the child that a well-meaning stranger would never ask him to go anywhere.
There are a couple of strategies that work well to teach stranger safety for preschoolers in an effective manor. The first is role playing. Go through several scenarios where you pretend to be a stranger and help your child to find an appropriate solution, such as finding a police officer or yelling for help. Another strategy is to come up with a code word that only “safe” people know. Teach your child the code word and remind him of it often. Tell him to always ask for the code word before going with anyone and if the person doesn’t know the code word, DON’T GO. Make sure that everyone who has permission to pick your child up from school or daycare knows the code word and then involve these people in teaching stranger safety to your child. Randomly quizzing your child to make sure this information is being retained is a good idea. Sending someone unexpected, such as a grandparent or spouse, to pick up the child is a good idea. If the child doesn’t ask for the code word, go over that experience and re-explain the importance of this practice.
The most important thing to remember when discussing stranger safety for preschoolers is that you are dealing with a preschooler. It is important to remember that even if you have drilled your child on the potential danger of unknown people they are bound to act their age. As a result of this, the best advice on preschool stranger safety is to keep your child close. Parents are sometimes hesitant to put a preschooler into a stroller or cart, but if that is the only means of keeping them close it is better to have them confined than lost.↑ Back to Top