When we were kids, fairy tales did a pretty good job at teaching most of us to be wary of strangers. From witches that turned innocent kids into their next meal to wolves disguising themselves as beloved grandmothers, most of today’s parents had a healthy fear of strangers while growing up.
Now that we are parents ourselves, we might not want to share these gruesome fairy tales with our kids – or maybe we have children who are so savvy and fearless that a centuries-old story has little impact on their feelings about strangers. Either way, it’s still our job to teach our kiddos how to conduct themselves around adults they don’t know. A great place to start is with the front door and the following safety tips:
Start With the Basics of Stranger Danger
Kids often think that strangers look mean or bad in some way – much like the sinister characters in the aforementioned fables. Remind them that a stranger is simply someone they don’t know and that even adults who appear to be clean and nice can have bad intentions. Also, teach your kids that your saying “hello” to someone in the grocery store does not mean that the adult is no longer a stranger.
Rules for Younger Children
Young children should be taught to not answer the door by themselves unless they can easily see who is standing outside. If your front door is solid or the peephole is too high for them to see through, consider installing security cameras around the perimeter of your home. Lorex Technology features innovative security camera systems that connect to a tablet; this way, when the doorbell rings, your young child can check the tablet to get a good view of who is standing there. If it’s someone you know and trust, your child can go to the door. If it’s a door-to-door salesperson, your child should find you or another adult to go open the door.
Tips for Tweens and Teens
As your kids get older, they can start to open the door on their own. But they still need to be taught to be wary about who is ringing the bell. Tweens and teens should still verify who is standing at the door before politely inviting a recognized adult into your home. If they do not recognize who is at the door, they should call through the door and ask them to please wait while they find you or another adult.
Try Role Playing
To make sure your kids know what to do, you might want to try role playing some possible situations. Pretend to be a stranger with your younger kids and stand outside ringing the doorbell. Make sure your kids know how to use the security system and peephole, and have them practice what to say. You also can run through some doorbell ringing scenarios with your tweens and teens, acting like a friendly neighbor, pushy salesperson or Girl Scout selling cookies.
Identity Magazine is all about empowering women to get all A’s in the game of life — Accept. Appreciate. Achieve.TM Every contributor and expert answer the Identity 5 questions in keeping with our theme. Their answers can be random and in the moment or they can be aligned with the above article. As a team, we hope to inspire and motivate ourselves and inspire you to get all A’s.
1. What have you accepted within your life, physically and/or mentally? What are you still working on accepting?
I have accepted that I might not always have a home that will qualify for a photo spread in a Martha Stewart magazine–there are toys spread around and plenty of other evidence that a family with pets lives here, but that is okay.
2. What have you learn to appreciate about yourself and/or within your life, physically and mentally? What are you still working on to appreciate?
I appreciate the fact that I’m a loving and caring mom, wife and “pet parent” who focuses more on my family’s happiness and being there for them, rather than always having a dust-free piano.
3. What is one of your most rewarding achievements in life? What makes YOU most proud? What goals and dreams do you still have?
One of my most rewarding achievements has been working as a freelance writer for the past 16 years; I love the fact that I work from home and can schedule my work around my family. I guess like many women I’m hoping to find ways to use my daily 24 hours as productively as possible; I love getting out to walk with my family and at least one dog at a time but too often I run out of time.
4. We all have imperfections, so we think. The truth–we are all perfectly imperfect. What are your not-so-perfect ways? What imperfections and quirks create who you are–your Identity?
My not-so-perfect way is that I sometimes forget to take care of myself because I’m so busy taking care of others. Probably my silly sense of humor about a lot of things–my kids roll their eyes when I’m putting away groceries, spot a bunch of bananas and start talking into one of them like it’s a phone. My dependence on caffeine and love of Starbucks is also fairly well-known.
5. “I Love My…” is an outlet for you to express and appreciate all the positive traits that make you…well… YOU! Sharing what you love about yourself will make you smile, feel empowered, and uplift your spirit and soul. (we assure you!) Identity challenges you to complete the phrase “I Love My…?”
Easy. I love my family. Every day.