What is a 'stranger'?

Picture this: You’re stuck in traffic or running late on your way to pick up your seven-year-old child from preschool. You’re already fifteen minutes late and could easily be another fifteen. Your sweet baby is all alone waiting for you and could be under the watchful eye of predators.

You tell yourself "my baby knows better than to talk to strangers and will wait inside the grounds instead of outside." However as you tell yourself this, goose bumps run up your spine and consume your whole body. How vigilant is your child really?

One important first step to take is to define the concept of "stranger" Ask your child, "what is a stranger" or "who is a stranger".

If your child has heard that strangers might try to kidnap him/her, it's important to reassure your child that a stranger is not necessarily a bad person or bad-looking person - just someone he/she doesn't know.
It is also important to make it clear that if he/she decides that they trust someone other than Mommy or Daddy they should confirm first where they are going.

Read below for a tricky example, taken from a School Quiz that could boggle the young ones’ minds but awaken a much needed sense of awareness.

My parents don't arrive but a friend of my mom's that I recognise comes to pick me up, do I:

a) go quietly with that person.
b) ask her why my parents couldn't come, then go quietly.
c) check with my teacher first, then if it's ok, go quietly.
d) go to the school secretary, phone my parents to check, then if it's ok go quietly?

How do you think your child will answer to the above question?

Try out this School Quiz with your child, an interactive and effective way to communicate the "danger of strangers that lurk all around us".

See how they think when put in different scenarios. This School Quiz is offered to children aged six to eleven, questions relevant to their age groups. There is also an opportunity to win R50 000 worth of security for a school of your choice.
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