Kid Smarts: Talking to Strangers

If I were a songwriter as talented as Taylor Swift, I’d probably write a song called Don’t Talk to Strangers (alternately entitled, “Who You Don’t Know Can Hurt You”).  That’s probably one of the early life lessons passed on to me by my parents which has stuck like crazy glue.  They have always stressed the importance of not talking to strangers as a precautionary form of action to ward off people with bad intentions.  Although there is a whole lot of truth to that, I do think it needs a little bit of tweaking in this day and age.

We parents must realize that there are some instances- although few and far between- when our kids may just have to talk to people they don’t know.  This is especially true when they’re lost or need help.    If they have to ask a stranger for help, remind them to look for people in uniform: policemen, security guards, etc.  Older people or those with kids can help too.  Tell your kid to be wary though, as not all good-looking people are necessarily kind-hearted.  Criminals now know better to shave and put on decent clothes when they’re on the prowl.

Here are the instances when your kids should not be talking to strangers:

A stranger offers them treats.  That sugary donut may look irresistibly scrumptious, but if it comes from a total stranger, there is a huge possibility that it may be laced with something which you’d find on a Top Ten Highly-Toxic Substances list.  Even toys can be covered in some harmful narcotic too, so remind your kids to just say no.

A stranger asks if your kid can keep a secret.  This act simply spells sleaziness, as he is trying to lure your kid and put him under his spell.  There can’t possibly be anything good that person has to do or say.

A stranger asks to touch your kid’s private parts- or asks your kid to touch his.  The stranger may say all sorts of things to try to earn your kid’s trust enough to make him do all sorts of unimaginable things.

It just doesn’t feel right.  Your kid should use his or her instincts too.  When he feels uncomfortable talking to someone, he should just walk away and find someone else to turn to.

Hard as we try, we parents can’t and will not always be there to protect our dear children.  If we arm them with the right knowledge about what goes on around us, they will be better-equipped to take care of themselves when the need arises.



About Pepper

I am a single working mom, trying to raise my kid the best way I know how. Join me as I navigate my way through the jungle that is Single Mom-hood, armed with rose-colored glasses and strength of spirit. As pepper adds spice to food, so does my daughter add spice to my life. She makes life no less than…PEPPERRIFIC!

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  1. yes this is so true Peps and it is always a MUST for us is the exam week of my daughter busy days for me Peps ;)

  2. true! we must always instill to them the danger and consequences of talking to strangers.

  3. Roxi Santiago says

    One of my fears, but I will try really hard and teach my son to not talk to strangers, no matter what is offered to him. Or better yet, I won’t let him out of my sight. Hard to do but I will do it for his safety’s sake.

    • As much as I’d like to always be there for my kid, I just can’t. We definitely have to teach them a thing or two about defending themselves and being wary of strangers. Thanks for the comment, Roxi :)

  4. Kristy @PampersandPinot says

    You are a genius and the whole world should listen to you. Yes, Taylor Swift and to cover our bases, Justin Bieber, and anyone else under the age of 21 who sings must sing about not talking to strangers!

  5. Great post! I was just talking about this stuff with my son. It was tricky with a four year old, but it is something we had to do. We gotta do everything we can to protect our kids.

    • It is tricky with younger kids. I can imagine, when the situation presents itself, they may not have the presence of mind to remember what we’ve taught them. Practice makes perfect, I guess.

  6. Yep, yes, and uh-huh. The stranger danger scares the poo outta me. We also have a password. If someone says “your mom told me to pick you up/take you home” they have to know the password or no dice. We even make grandma use it.

    We’ve practiced using your stranger voice, which is screaming, “I don’t know you, you’re not my mom, you’re scaring me” as loud as possible.

    When my kids get old enough, I’m going to impart this little piece of advice, that my parents told me and pretty much scared the crap out of me, but it works.

    If a stranger takes you or want to take you somewhere, never ever let them take you to a second location, because you will probably never see home again or be dead.

    Scary yes, but sometimes we have to be scared to protect our kids and self.

  7. Alexa Woods says

    I couldn’t agree more. Parents should do their part to educate their kids about this serious matter. Schools can also help by teaching kids not to entertain strangers.

  8. I really hope to drill this home to my son when he is older…I couldn’t imagine having a stranger hurt him!

  9. You’re so right! I have been having talks with my son about his private parts and he’s not two yet! It’s just sad and disturbing to know that people are sick enough to do vile things to children. It makes me want to lock our little family up in a bubble until our little boy is a grown man. Ugh!

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