Friday, 19 June 2015

Stranger Danger

Whilst getting ready for school yesterday we, L, R and I got onto the topic of having names printed upon clothing.  It was because L was dressed up in her evacuee outfit and had filled in her tag.  B had apparently said that she hoped L didn't get kidnapped as the kidnapper would know all of her details.  Not the most encouraging thing to say to her little sister, but as L pointed out she was walking to and from school with me, and I was helping out all day so she would be safe.

I reassured L that in this instance it was fine, but that keeping our names away from strangers is a way of keeping safe and the reason I do not allow them to buy football shirts, hats, hairbands etc with their names on.  This allowed me to remind them of the stranger danger and how just because somebody knows your name, it does not make them a safe person, or somebody you know.

R asked how having his name on a T-shirt would be dangerous, so I said that if he was out playing with his friends and somebody shouted out
                     'R....(L....) Quick, there's been an accident and Mum has asked me to rush you to her, quick R...(L....) lets go' 

The stranger would sound convincing because he/she knew their name, and then it would be easier for the stranger to convince R/L to go with him/her.  They wouldn't necessarily wonder how this person knew their name, and they would be an easier target than somebody who didn't have their name printed upon them, but that even if they haven't got their name on them the stranger may have overheard it.

I reassured them that it is rare, but that if anyone they didn't know shouts their name and tries to get them to follow them, that they are to run away from and not towards them, and head for a safe place.  We discussed safe places, such as shop counters, leisure centres, back into school, or home or a friends house if near by, and told them that this would be an O.K time to be making a big fuss, shouting and hollering, as the person who was trying to convince them to go with them wouldn't want anyone to pay them any attention and that would most likely be enough to get them to leave them alone.

I followed this up with the few people I would ever send to them in a real emergency, and that if at all possible I would always 'phone them, or text them first anyway, that at the moment they are not out on their own either playing or walking to and from school (when they are old enough to do this, this is when they get a phone), and school will only let them go with somebody other than me or J if I ring them beforehand.

This conversation was had whilst I was plaiting L's hair and R was sorting out his school bag, it didn't take long and we soon moved on to other things.  I didn't make a huge deal out of it, I didn't want to scare them, just remind them to be cautious.

Have you discussed stranger danger with your children? 

Lupin Girl x

I've linked this post to #TwinklyTuesday


  1. I think it's time I had a new conversation now I read this. The emphasis is always on people coming up or trying to just take you or offering you something but I've not talked about the possibility of someone sounding convincing by using a name. We have watched a fantastic vid on you tube where a guy uses his cute dog to get small kids to walk off with him (with parents consent!) to show the many ways people go to get kids..I'd recommend a watch it's pretty eye opening x

    1. +HannahBrooker The name thing was kind of handed down to me from my Mum, we were never allowed to get anything with our names on whilst on holiday, I always thought it was unfair, but now as a parent myself I understand why and other than water bottles or magnets I've never allowed my children to have those items. I will watch that video with them and show them how convincing people can be, it's so scary being a parent, I don't want to scare my children or stop them from playing out as they get old enough either. Thank you for reading and commenting x

  2. A good post and a good reminder the have this conversation with our children from a range of different angles. We've certainly spoken to ours about strangers and stranger danger but it never ceases to amaze me at how quickly our kids will go up to anyone at the park. #TwinklyTuesday

  3. My boys are only two so it's not something I'd talk to them about just yet. That said, I've spoken to my goddaughter about it. She's eight and chatting to her about strangers just made me realise how naive she is — she admitted that, if they had a puppy, she said she would go with them!!!! Her mum and I were HORRIFIED!! Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday — hope to see you again next week! x

    Caro |

    1. It is so scary how a cute puppy, or a bag of sweets can tempt a child isn't it?