Today, I watched a video on YouTube by JoeySalads and it sent chills down my spine. What was the video about? A man does a social experiment to see if children would walk away with a stranger (him). Each child's mother gives this guy permission to carry out the test on their kid and assures him that their little one won't go with him. They are proved wrong when armed with a cute little dog, he friendly chats them into walking away from the play park with him.
This petrifies me. I know for a fact my kids aged six and nine would go or do anything an adult tells them to. This is what we have instilled in them from a young age. Be respectful of adults and what they have to say. We have also (as has the school) taught them about stranger danger. It's all too confusing for them though as the Lollipop Man is a stranger and talks to them. There's lots of other people they meet on a daily basis that are "strangers" but will initiate conversation.
I have a friend that uses the password technique. It's fine to be polite and answer an adult (stranger) if they talk to you but you must not go anywhere with anyone unless they know the special password that only mummy, daddy and grandparents know. It's clever, but even I am not sure that is faultless.
How many of you will tell your child not to speak to strangers and then speak to them yourself in front of your children? It's such a hard one. I have shown this YouTube video to my children and explained to them that you can be polite but harmful strangers can be cunning and trick you. That's why it's best never to go anywhere with someone you don't know or don't know very well.
To get advice on telling your children about strangers and other issues surrounding this, head to React Now, here.