Neighbourhood Support Waitakere 2022

Many parents worry about the safety of their children, whether on the way to or from school, in the park, or anywhere else where constant adult supervision is lacking. One of the biggest concerns for parents is teaching their children how to be properly wary of strangers when out in public places. Yet the possibility of harm to children from unknown people, usually called “stranger danger,” can sometimes be overstated. Much of the fear surrounding “stranger danger” comes from second- or third-hand stories, media reports, and educational films. Understandably, this information causes us to worry about our children. Yet, despite all of the attention focused on “stranger danger,” a closer look at child abductions doesn’t necessarily justify our conclusions on the severity of the problem. In the majority of cases, the danger comes not from a stranger, but rather a perpetrator known to the parent or child. Please note STRANGER DANGER IS NOT LONGER taught in New Zealand by the police or schools....for these reasons. Teach children to trust their feelings if they feel uncomfortable, scared, or confused. Children need to know to get away from that person and tell a trusted adult. Teach your children that it is more important to get out of a threatening or uncomfortable situation than it is to be polite. Children also need to know that they should never go anywhere with someone they don’t know and should never get into cars or go into houses of neighbours they don’t know very well unless you say it is okay. Parents need to be sure of their family’s rules and procedures and set a good example when out with their children. Greeting the local police officer, road patrol monitors, or postie when walking with your child makes it clear that casual interaction with people they do not know well isn’t always harmful. The most important thing for parents to remember when talking about personal safety and “stranger danger” is that it is both a very real problem and that it should be approached carefully so as to educate children rather than scare them. Kids Safety Message for Parents and Caregivers—From Bryan and Bobby 17 Page