Home > Kids > Childhood Safety > Stranger Safety > Safely Ever After: Educating Children About Child Predators
|

Safely Ever After: Educating Children About Child Predators

When it comes to child predators and stranger safety, many parents are in the dark about what to say to their children. Some parents approach it too seriously, while others use scare tactics and other unwise methods. Pattie Fitzgerald, founder and creator of Safely Ever After, Inc, has some expert advice on how to broach the topic in a way your children will understand, without making them overly fearful of strangers.

"The problem," she says, "is that too many parents aren't talking about the actual realities of predators."

Fitzgerald explains that many parents focus on "stranger danger," when in actuality most victims of child predators are targeted by people they already know. Her goal was to find a healthy way for parents to discuss child predators with their kids -- in a clear but non-threatening way.

Kids are more likely to listen and comprehend if parents use kid-friendly language and make appropriate comparisons. Parents should begin talking to their children early about "tricky people," as Fitzgerald calls them on her website, www.safelyeverafter.com. Children as young as three or four years old will understand some of the basic characteristics of untrustworthy people. Important issues like child predators can be approached in the same manner as the "look both ways before you cross the street" rule - by incorporating the subject into the natural dialogue and daily conversation between parent and child.

Young children do not need to be taught all the rules right away. Simple basics like teaching a child that their "bathing suit areas" are private, and "safe adults wouldn't ask a child for help" are some good topics to start out with.

"As kids get older, more developmentally appropriate information can be covered, but the concepts are the same for children of all ages," says Fitzgerald. The key, she says, is to talk to children in a language that is consistent with their level of development.



|


stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

get ready for school!

We’ve got your
shopping list,
lunch menu,
and more.

GO

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.