For well over two decades, we at Kidpower have seen Stranger Danger films of kids being approached by a man they don’t know who tries to trick them into going with him – with the consent of their parents – in the name of testing their ability to stay safe.

But how does being publicly shamed for being tricked make kids safer? How does secret testing of kids done with the consent of their parents improve their trust? What does it do emotionally for kids when their failures are seen by millions of people?

These tests make interesting drama – but poor safety. Parents and other caring adults can use Kidpower’s Positive Practice Method to coach their kids so that they are successful in rehearsing skills about staying safe with people they know and people they don’t, using examples that are age-appropriate, relevant and fun, rather than scary.

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Kidpower Founder and Executive Irene van der Zande is a master at teaching safety through stories and practices and at inspiring others to do the same. Her child protection and personal safety expertise has been featured by USA Today, CNN, Today Moms, the LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Publications include: cartoon-illustrated Kidpower Safety Comics and Kidpower Teaching Books curriculum; Bullying: What Adults Need to Know and Do to Keep Kids Safe; the Relationship Safety Skills Handbook for Teens and Adults; Earliest Teachable Moment: Personal Safety for Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers; and The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults: Personal Safety, Self-Protection, Confidence, and Advocacy for Young People.

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