What to Tell Your Child About Abduction, Part 1

What to Tell Your Child About Abduction, Part 1

Telling a child that he or she could be kidnapped is a unnerving proposition. It's vital that your kids are aware of the danger, but at the same time you have to strike a balance: they need to understand that abduction happens rarely. They shouldn't be overly worried but they also need to understand that bad things can happen and they need to know what to do if it does. For instance, what if an adult wants the child to do something he or she doesn't want to do.

First, children should know that they have a right to say "no." We tell our children to obey adults and this makes them vulnerable to every adult they encounter. Your child should know that there are only certain adults they should obey and you make sure they know who they are.

What if an adult asks a child to keep a secret from their mother or father? No responsible adult should make such a request even if it's someone they trust, such as a babysitter or relative they should tell you immediately. Police say molesters depend on the fact that a child will keep their secret.

What's the definition of a stranger? Children should know that a stranger is any adult they don't know very well. That doesn't mean these people are bad, just that they haven't yet earned your trust. Talk to your children about trust what it is and how someone earns it. Even someone they see every day, such as a neighbor, is a stranger if they don't know them very well.

What if a stranger wants your child to come to his house or get into his car? If a stranger pulls over and ask for help or wants to show the child something in his car, your child should move back, put as much space as possible between himself and the car, and be ready to run. You should explain that it is generally OK for a child to ask a grown-up for help, but grown-ups should never ask children for help.

Child abuse Unit offers tell parents that abductors use a variety of come-ons to draw children to them; such as asking for directions, offering candy or other gifts, make threats or pretend to be authority figures such as a policeman or member of the clergy. A common trick is to say it's an emergency ("Your parents are hurt. they asked me to take you to the hospital to be with them.") Experts recommend you work out a secret code word known only to family members. The child should not go near the car unless the stranger can tell them the code word.

Laura Quarantiello is the author of the book "On Guard How You Can Win the War Against the Bad Guys" it's an information shield that can help protect you and your family against the creeps and crazies out there. For more information please visit: http://www.tiare.com/onguard.htm



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