Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Stranger Danger experiment has shocked many today

                                   A most shocking experiment have many people talking

This morning, Daybreak showed the first of their series of videos regarding an experiment on stranger danger. I was not able to watch the video this morning, but have since seen it online, and it really does make you think.

The video shows a young boy approached by a fake stranger who asks him to help find his dog, luring the child out of the park and away from his mother, who is on the telephone. It made me quite upset watching the video, not only because the child is only a couple of years older than my daughter, but also that the mother was away answering her phone and not watching the child. I know this was an experiment and she did so for the sake of the whole thing, but it does make one think.

It has made me think about my own little one. So many people in our area stop to chat to her when we are out and about. They are usually older people, but danger can come in many forms. I have always been friendly back and encouraged my little one to talk to them, but being so chatty can put a little one in danger. I have therefore began to install my daughter with a few things to make her aware that she must stay safe.

I have told her that if she is with Mummy or Daddy and out walking about and somebody talks to her, it is ok to talk back to them. I have then told her that if we are not around for any reason, it is not ok to talk to someone she doesn't know and if they try to take her anywhere she should shout "No, no I wont go!" It has hard when she is so little, but the thought of someone trying to take her is very scary as a parent.

I have seen many people comment on this subject and one has particularly stuck in my mind. It is not a great world we live in where we are encouraged not to talk to strangers. There are many people children will come across who they do not know, doctors, teachers, dentists, new friends of their parents. It is a shame to make children feel suspicious of everyone. This is why I have approached this subject in the way I have. I am very unlikely to be leaving her unsupervised anywhere and if I did have to go off for something important, she would be encouraged to come with me or I would let it wait a little longer. At the end of the day, the safety of my daughter is the most important thing.

Stranger Danger is such a difficult topic to approach when so many people in their lives are "strangers" but it is all about the way we as parents (and childcare professionals) approach it. There definitely needs to be more awareness of the subject, judging by the experiment itself. I as a parent will be looking at books which may help explain it in a child friendly way (which we do for most things!) How do you plan to or already tackle this subject with your little one?

The link to the videos is here :

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