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