Teach Your Child About the Concept of Strangers
The Apple Tree Pre-school and Kindergarten is an international prep kindergarten in Bangkok. We feel one of the most important things to teach your child early on is the concept of strangers. It may not be easy to make your child understand what a stranger is. Children often confuse the word ‘stranger’ with any adult that scares them by their demeanour or the way they look.
The child should not equate the word stranger with any scary adult. The distinction is an important one. Many adults who may appear safe and unthreatening are anything but. They have perfected their charming and provocative act as a way to help lure the child into their control.
The goal of this education is to keep the child safe. But it’s also to make the child feel comfortable and uninhibited in their world. A child who is growing up and entering school can be confused by all the adults they meet during their day. Having to decide which adults to trust and which ones not to can weigh on a child’s mind and cause them needless worry.
Establish Rules About Adults
Teach your child that a stranger is anyone who your family doesn’t know very well. Your child should always look to you to decide who is safe before trusting a new adult in their life. Establish rules about the adults in your child’s life. Teachers, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and long-time friends are considered safe, and the child should feel free to talk to them.
By telling your child that you’ll decide who it’s okay for them to talk to, you relieve them of the pressure to decide as well as dispelling your fears of them making the wrong decision. As they seem to get more comfortable in distinguishing between safe people and strangers, quiz your child about their understanding of the concept of strangers.
Ask them to describe people and situations that consist of both ‘safe’ adults and ‘strange’ adults. Make sure they understand that not everyone who appears nice and safe is what they appear to be. Ensure they know that anyone who asks them to keep a secret is not someone they should trust, especially if they ask your child to keep a secret from you.
If any adult ever tries to make your child disobey you in any situation, that person should no longer be a part of your child’s life.
Trusting the Child’s Instincts
As the child learns that people who are a part of their family and their daily lives are the safe ones, they’ll naturally become wary around people who don’t fit that definition. Every child also has an innate sense of danger. That feeling in the pit of their stomachs that tells them that something isn’t right in a situation.
Teach them to trust that instinct around strangers when you aren’t available. You can’t be around them all day long when they enter school and encouraging them to trust their instincts shows them that you value their sense of judgment and opinions. It will also give you a little peace of mind. Encourage them to run to safe adults whenever they feel threatened.
Remember that this type of training should be about keeping your child safe first and foremost. But it should also be about preserving your child’s sense of openness and trust as well.
If you have any further questions about methods you can use to communicate the concept of recognising a stranger effectively, contact The Apple Tree International Kindergarten in Bangkok to schedule a consultation.