The world is not as safe for our children as we would like it to be. So it is necessary for us to prepare our children for the realities of modern times without making them constantly afraid.
Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman in their Response-Able Parent Newsletter suggest that constantly we:
Remind our children that the world is a place where most people love children and helpers are everywhere.
When you are at the mall or grocery store, point out the people who are likely to help: a woman at the door, a grandmother, a person at the information center. Statistics indicate that women are more likely to take a child who needs help to the appropriate person. A man will often point the child in the right direction but let them navigate the route on their own.
Haller and Moorman warn: Do NOT use the “never talk to strangers” slogan. If your child is lost at an amusement park or mall, everyone around them could be a stranger. If they can’t talk to strangers, who do they turn to? Instead, teach your children how to recognize the people who are most likely to help. That person just might be a stranger.
Source: How to Talk to Your Kids about Staying Safe in Today’s World by Thomas Haller and Chick Moorman, response-able parent newsletter #60