November 9, 2012

The talk

SB is very proud that she knows her full name and address. She is also very outgoing and trusting. To the point I believe she would go up to anyone and tell them, "I am (full name) and I live on (street name)."

Obviously, this is not something I want her to do.

So the other day, as we were leaving for school and she was reciting her name and address, I decided to talk to her about it. I told her it was very good she knows how to share that information. If she ever got into trouble and we weren't with her, she could tell a police officer or an adult we know and trust so that person could help her.

But, I explained, she should not tell anyone she doesn't know. Because we don't share that information with strangers. As expected, she asked why. And I told her we never know if a stranger is a good person or a bad person.

Then she asked the question no parent really wants to answer but has to, "What would a bad person do to me?"

I sucked in my breath sharply, horrific scenarios running through my head that she is too young and innocent to know about.

"A bad person might hurt you, sweetheart. I wish that was not something we have to worry about, but the simple truth is there are bad people in the world. There are lots and lots of good people, but some are bad. And we have to remember that.

It is Mommy and Daddy's job to keep you safe, and we take that very seriously. We make sure there are only good people in your life. Your teachers, your babysitters, the friends we know. They are all good people. You can trust them.

And people like policemen and firemen and women, whose job it is to help people. You can trust them.

I am proud of you for being so smart, but you don't have to share everything you know with everyone, OK?"

"OK, Mommy."

And then, being the almost four-year-old that she is, her mind moved on to something else, and the conversation was over.

Also? OMG y'all! My child is about to turn FOUR!!!

How do you talk to your kids about stranger danger?

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