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Child Saftey – Don’t talk to strangers and other parenting myths




“Don’t
Talk to Strangers and Other Parenting Myths”

by 
Alyssa Dver

No
doubt, parenting is tricky.  Parenting
information changes all the time plus everyone feels compelled to give
their personal, often contradicting, opinions. 
Unfortunately, even some of the basic “rules” of parenting
can’t be trusted.  Here we
discuss four such myths that can make life or death differences.  


MYTH
#1: 


I
am a careful, watchful parent and my kids are well behaved so they will
never get lost
.

It
happens to virtually everyone: 7 out of 10 children will experience being
lost at least once in their lives. 
90% of families will be impacted and the traumatic memories of
these incidents will forever remain in the minds of both the parent and
child.  
We teach our children to be curious and independent but then we
scold then for getting accidentally lost.  Therefore, it is actually good
parents that realize this is a common situation.  They proactively teach their children that getting lost can
be dangerous and they all know what to if it happens.  While most incidents result in safe returns, both children
and adults often retain traumatic memories for the rest of their
lives. 


MYTH
#2: 


Don’t
talk to strangers.

When
a child gets lost, he/she may be too scared, too young, or simply
unable to communicate to assist an adult that is trying to help find
the child’s caregiver.  One
of the best safety practices is to tell your child to find another
mommy if he/she gets lost. 

There is an important difference in empowering your child to
ask a stranger for help versus having a stranger approach your child
unsolicited.  Mommies
are easy to identify and find in most family venues – plus mommies
are usually eager to help (and least likely to harm) a distressed
child.


MYTH
#3: 


Don’t
put identification outside of your child’s clothing.

Safe
identification includes a cell phone number that is visible and easily
accessible on a child.  If the
child is lost, another person can quickly call to reunite the onsite
caregiver.  Do not hide the
information in a shoe or in the child’s clothing. 
You do not want a stranger undressing your child to find such a
clue.  Even if your child knows their home phone number, you don’t
want to continuously be dialling your home voicemail to see if there is
any information about your lost child.

Many
parents worry about having a child’s name visible.  Even though most children will willingly give a stranger
their name, there are dozens of other ways that a predator can lure your
child away.  However, putting
the child’s address is actually very dangerous because in the wrong
hands, your home can become a target.  Whether
going to a mall, to a ballgame, or to school, young children should always
have safe identification visibly on them.


MYTH
#4: 


My
entire family dresses in the same color when we go to a crowded
place. 


brightly coloured T-shirts
It
may be cute but it is rather ineffective to put your family in the
same colors unless they are very bright. 
A small child can be much more easily spotted if they are in
bright green or bright yellow. 

Wearing such colors (hats, shirts, jackets, etc.) can make it
easier for you to see them.  If
you need to get other people’s help to find a lost child, the
bright colors make it easier for them too. 

It is more helpful to describe a child’s physical
attributes (hair color, eye color, height, weight, etc.) when you
can also note that they are wearing a unique color.  Keep that clothing as a special outfit for when you do
venture away from home.  This
will help you remember what the child is wearing should you need to
recall that under stress.

These
four parenting myths are just some of the unfortunate bad parenting advice
that has been passed down for generations and not been updated given new
technology and information.  Realize
that these myths can be very harmful to your child and be a smart parent
by preparing yourself and your family. 
With less effort than it takes to put on a seatbelt, teach your
children not to get lost and what to do in case it happens.