In this sweet, funny “Mother teaches daughter about stranger danger” video from Korea that went viral, a darling little girl is learning from her mother to say, “No!” in case a stranger offers her a cookie, an ice cream cone, or a trip to the swimming pool.
Knowing how and when to say, “NO!” is important, and I love that this child is learning joyfully how to use her power.
I would also love for her family to know and practice the Kidpower skills of:
- Stay Together with your adults when you are out in public.
- Move Away from a person or animal you don’t know well when you are on your own.
- Check First with your adults before letting a stranger get close to you, talk to you, or give you something.
- Check First with your adults before changing your plan about where you go, who is with you, and what you are doing, even with people you know
Being taught about “stranger-danger” is confusing to young children because often they don’t understand exactly what a stranger is – and often their adults are encouraging them to be polite and talk with people who seem unfamiliar to them.
Instead, Kidpower teaches Stranger Safety and that the rules are different when you are together with your adults and when you are on your own, which for a small child can mean being even briefly out of an adult’s immediate reach. We teach that most people are good – and most strangers are good – but if you don’t know someone well, you follow the safety rules and Check First with your adults. If you are somewhere with no adults to Check First with, then you Think First.
Also, since most of the people who harm children are known to them, children are safest if they Check First before they go anywhere with anyone, even people they know well.
Here are two resources for teaching children these safety skills:
As we get older and more independent, these safety skills are still important. We are safer if we Check First by informing someone who cares about us where we are and who is with us; if we Move Away from trouble; and if we Stay Together near people who can help us when we need it. See our Safety Checklist for Kids on Their Way School.