Ask a Cop? Talking to your kids about dangerous people?

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Question:

How do you explain to kids how dangerous people can be? Like for example chatting with people on the internet who could be pedophiles grooming them in an online game? Ages 7 to 10yrs old?. My grand kids have no fear when it comes to strangers and I just don’t know where to find the best educational tool to scare the crap out of them. To teach them there are dangerous people out there posing as either other kids or someone in trust who could really hurt them. I want to keep my babies safe and they just have no fear.

Answer:

This is a great question but I am not sure scaring them is the best method. I think it comes down to education and even more importantly is it comes down to how you, your family members and people they look up to react around strangers and people that might not be the best representatives of society.

I learned how to be safe initially from my parents and how they handled themselves in different situations. My dad especially as he was X military and overall just had a good sense of his surroundings.  IE: Impressionable kids soak up what you do

I would take time to explain situations to your kids, why things seem strange and what to look for when you are trying to keep them safe. There are some good books about preparedness and knowing your surroundings. There are some good classes on how to be aware of things and what to look for as parents.

I tell friends about this book – https://www.amazon.com/Prepared-Manual-Surviving-Worst-Case-Scenarios/dp/0593538145 – It is not crazy prepper stuff as much as just basic overviews on where and how to be better prepared. Quite a bit in there also about family safety. Easy read also an audio book. I have probably handed out 10 copies of this one as it is relatable to most.

No idea where you live but many states and counties offer safety courses, and awareness courses. Maybe see what might be offered by your local police and or fire departments to overall get them to start on the path to better awareness. But in the end it really comes down to being a great parent that has that open conversation with your kids and gets them thinking about their own safety. Parenting is hard, while many want to wrap their kids in bubble wrap to keep them safe they will never learn the lessons needed to survive if that is done. I think it is more about having those talks about safety, showing them in some controlled fashion that they need to be aware of the issues in our world, without traumatizing them forever because I can tell you for most seeing the real world is horrifying. And that is why not everyone is a police officer or a fire fighter.

While I do not have kids I would take a similar path as I know it has worked for others and their kids have survived the growing up process. Also sometimes it takes some stings to learn the real lessons. While nobody wishes for bad things to happen, sometimes terrible decision making leads to those and that is when good parenting really can make a difference. I wish you luck in your kids, they should always know they can go to the police if bad things happen, making them more prepared to handle strange situations is key to their and any of our survival in todays crazy world. Being able to identify strange things is key also to this and being a more aware observer is key. Even if that simple is them coming to you when something feels strange for advice.

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