1. Do you know that it is okay to say “NO!” to an adult or older child?
Children are taught to always be polite and mind their manners and therefore, children would find it difficult to say no to an adult or older child. Specifically so when they feel uncomfortable or are unsure about what the adult or older child wants them to do.
Children may fear repercussions from their parents when they are rude to an adult they are supposed to respect. It is important to realize that not all people have you child’s best interests at heart. The reality is that there are people in this country who would harm your child for their own needs. Teach your child that it is okay to say no to an adult or an older child when they expect them to do something that makes them feel uncomfortable or unsafe or uncertain. Tell them that you will explain to this adult or older child that your child was being safe and trusted his instincts or inner voice. And make sure that you do back your child up when it comes to him/her following their instinct when it comes to matters of personal safety, or following instinct.
2. Do you know when to stop a conversation that makes you feel uncomfortable, unsafe or doubtful inside?
Children are innocent and even though they are taught not to talk to strangers, situations exist where adults and older children talk to your child about things that are inappropriate. Your young child may feel uncomfortable and not know how to handle the information [which may be explicit] that is coming their way. Teach your child that if a conversation makes them feel uncomfortable, unsafe or doubtful inside, to walk or run away and to tell you or another trusted adult about it as soon as possible.
3. Do you know which person to go to for help if you get separated from mom or dad?
Children are taught not to talk to strangers, but what if a stranger is the only one who could help them should they get separated from you? You want to ensure that your child knows which stranger to go to for help should this happen:
The woman behind the till at the supermarket, choose the pharmacist that you always to go for medications as a meeting point, or look for another mommy with children. These are some examples of ‘strangers’ who may assist you child should they get separated from you.
4. Do you know to run and yell… shout and tell, when someone tries to make you do something that you feel uncomfortable or scared about?
A Child Sexual Predator tries to blend in and wants as little attention for himself as possible. Teach your child to scream and shout and make as much noise as they can when someone tries to make them do something that makes them feel uncomfortable or scared. Teach your child it is okay to lash out and kick.
5. Do you know that you should take at least 3 child-sized steps backwards [2 adult arm-lengths] when someone tries to get close to you in order for them to get within their reach?
A person who wants to forcibly grab your child will try anything to get your child to get close to them in order for them to do that—from stopping a car to ask for directions to taking their favourite toy away and asking your child to come and fetch it from them. You need to teach your child that for example, adults stopping to ask for directions is always a danger sign— They need to turn around and run in the opposite direction that the car is facing. And should someone take their favourite toy and ask them to get closer to get it back ,to rather leave the toy and run away. Tell another trusted adult. Their lives are more important than any toy could every be.
Can your child answer the following questions?