"This is an easy to follow step by step guide that provides essential information on how to talk to kids about stranger danger without scaring them. In addition to strangers, it touches on the important topics of getting lost, and good touch vs. bad touch, and shows parents how to reinforce the included lessons. At the end of the book there is a list children's books, and parent websites where you learn more about how to keep children safe. I definitely recommend Stranger Danger - How to Talk to Kids About Strangers to anyone who has or knows someone with children." ~ Jasmine S. Goodreads.com.
"A very precise and necessary book. As the mother of a preschooler, I suffered anxiety about how to discuss stranger danger with my daughter. This book is excellent. Kristi Porter's advice is very straight-forward and easy to follow.Exactly what I needed for approaching this extremely important topic and action plan with my daughter. I read it in 45 minutes (couldn't put it down) and so glad I did. Thank You!!" ~M. Dennison (New York, N.Y.)
Stranger Danger - How to Talk to Kids About Strangers, reveals the shocking truth at how easily a child can beswayed to walk away with a complete stranger! This bookeducates the parent on how to teach their child to know the difference betweena good stranger and a bad stranger, in a way that is fun for both the parent and thechild. I believe every parent with a small child, or those planning a family, shouldhave this book to use as a safety guide. It could possibly save their child'slife in the future. ~Mike Feistel, author of America from the Other Side of the Tracks
From the Author
Early in my teaching career, while putting together a unitabout child safety for my class, I came across a statistic that stated: "In themajority of small child, stranger kidnapping cases, the child is simply takenby the hand and led quietly away." I wasn't sure that I agreed with thatstatistic, and decided to put it to the test.
With the parents' permission, I arranged to conduct a simple'stranger test' at the annual springtime family picnic. Held at a popular localplayground, twenty-four children (ages 2-8) and their parents attended. Whilethe assistant teachers supervised the children, I called the parents aside andexplained how the 'stranger test' would work.
An adult unknown to the children would simply walk up tothem, take their hand and lead them away toward the parking lot. If the childasked where they were going, the 'stranger' would simply tell them there wassome candy in the car, and that the child could have some if they wanted it.When they reached the car, (in full view of the playground and parents) the'stranger' would simply tell the child that they ran out of candy, show them anempty candy bag, and return the child to the playground. If at any time thechild resisted or became frightened, the 'stranger' would immediately let goand move away.
The parents were to stay on the sidelines and observe,agreeing to not punish their child if indeed they did walk away with one of the'strangers'. This was to be a teachable moment - one that children, parents,and teachers would all discuss together at the end of the day. While many of the parents commented theydidn't think their child would ever walk away with someone they didn't know,all agreed to allow their child to participate.
I called in my 'stranger' volunteers - one young adult male,and one middle aged female. Both were teachers in another program and unknownto the children or their parents.
I stood with the parents at the edge of the playground andwatched with astonishment as one by one, almost half of the children simplywalked away with one of the 'strangers'!
Over the course of an afternoon, 11 children accompanied a'stranger' to the car - with no resistance, not even a glance back over theirshoulder. They simply held hands and walked away - for nothing more than thepromise of candy. Of the remaining children, only one became visibly frightenedand was immediately returned to their parent. The others simply pulled theirhand away and ran off to play with their friends. Only four of them reportedthe 'stranger' to a teacher or parent.
This experiment really opened my eyes about how youngchildren view strangers, and why Stranger Danger Programs often fail. Sincethat day twenty-five years ago, I've made it my mission to help teach youngkids to stay safe. I've used the methods in this book with hundreds of kidsages 3-7, and I'm happy to report that many of my earliest students (who arenow adults) tell me that they still remember the lessons they learned aboutstrangers, and want to know how to use those same methods to teach their children how to stay safe.
So it is for those first students, now parents themselves,that I've put this book together.