It’s a big world out there and not all of it is pretty.Trends are changing and people are less inclined to be concerned about each other or spread a little kindness. Frankly, people are selfish - yet this is the world we send our children into daily.
When your child was a baby or toddler, you were always there, or you left your child in the care of a trusted adult. But as your child gets older, you’ll be spending less and less time with them. They will be away at nursery, school, wherever. You’re bound to worry a bit about their safety. And when kids begin to walk or even use public transport themselves, it can be positively nerve-wracking when they are late or when you are simply waiting for their return from somewhere.
Every parent’s nightmare is that phone call with the news that something has happened to their child. It is true that despite the publicity, mishaps are actually very rare. In fact experts say that most abuse cases, abductions, and even accidents involving children can be prevented if parents and children know what to do to avoid them. Do your children know what to do if a stranger tries to lure them away?
Ask your child what he or she will do if someone is nice and offers some sweets or a toy. You may assume that your child is generally averse to strangers but many children find mystery intriguing. Although many children know what to do, others don’t.
So, it’s up to parents to take precaution to ensure the safety of their children. There are people out there who want your children. The motive is usually sexual. Rarely are children taken because the kidnapper wants to love and care for the child. Don’t close your eyes to the danger. The vast majority of child abuse is by someone the child already trusts, a relative, neighbour, and even a teacher or someone else in authority. Know who your child’s friends are. A child molester or a kidnapper is often someone you know.
Make sure you warn your children about strangers and define “stranger” well. Your idea of a stranger may not be the same as your child’s.It is necessary to talk to your child about this. Don’t make the child paranoid or afraid of every new person they see, but don’t put off the discussion. Repeat in frequently. It is a reasonable precaution.
Does your child have friends you don’t know? You may consider them strangers, but does your child? Take an interest, are there adults or even older children who greet your child regularly, perhaps on the route to school.
Always talk to your children. Listen to them and build relationships that make it easy for them to talk to you.
Are there signals? Is there a change in personality? Is there isolation? Even different sleeping patterns and a loss of appetite can be a sign. Do not ignore them.