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How can I teach my kids to recognize suspicious behavior?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Instead of scaring (and possibly even confusing) your kids with the “Stranger = Danger” approach, experts suggest that a better way is to teach kids to recognize suspicious situations. Here are a few adult behaviors kids should learn to be aware of:

Asking for help: “I need help finding my child. Please help me!”  “Can you help me look for my puppy?”

Offering treats: “Would you like some candy?” “I have a skateboard in my car. Would you like it?”

Feigning an emergency: “Hurry! You mom was in an accident. I’ll take you to the hospital.”

Flaunting authority: “I think you’re the kid who hurt my son. Come with me and we’ll go find your parents.”

Pretending to be an official: “I’m with the F.B.I. and this is my badge. You must come.” Teach your child to call you ASAP or to dial 9-1-1- to verify the situation.

Faking friendship with a parent. “I’m an old friend of your dad’s. He asked me to come over. Can you take me to your house?”

Emphasize to your child that she can always ask a stranger for help, but an adult stranger does not ask kids for help.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.