Give Your Child A Safety Password

This is so simple and yet so effective. Enough so that it may just save lives.

We all know about the importance of teaching our kids about “Stranger Danger”. We make sure they know that they should never talk to, or accept anything from strangers when they are on their own. We teach them that adults do not need help from children, so if a stranger asks them to “just come with me for a minute, I need your help”, that is the time to run.

However, a 2000 report by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency programs, showed that more than ¾ of kidnappings were committed by family members or acquaintances of the child.

If someone your child knows came to meet them from school and told them that you were unwell so had asked them to collect him/her, would your child go with them? A lot would. They would do it without question, not wanting to argue with or disobey an adult.

However, it’s really important that children are taught it’s ok, in some circumstances, to politely question an adult’s instructions.

To help them to do this, give them a safety password. Tell your child that if you ever need to ask anybody else to pick them up from school/clubs/wherever else they might go, you will always tell that person the password. Before your child goes with that other person, they should check they know the password.

So, for example, if a neighbour was picking up your child from school, maybe the conversation would go something like this:

Mrs Smith: Hello Thomas, your Mum isn’t feeling very well and she has asked me to come and collect you from school.

Thomas: Oh Hi Mrs Smith, thank you for coming to get me, do you know the password?

Mrs Smith: Yes, it’s ‘Tractors’

So Thomas goes happily with Mrs Smith.

Or, the conversation goes like this:

Mrs Smith: Hello Thomas, your Mum isn’t feeling very well and she has asked me to come and collect you from school.

Thomas: Oh, Hi Mrs Smith, thank you for coming to get me, do you know the password?

Mrs Smith: Password? No your Mum didn’t tell me any password. Come on, I don’t have time for this, get in the car please

Thomas: No thank you Mrs Smith

So Thomas runs back into school to tell a teacher.

You and your child should pick out a secret password together so that you will both remember it. Make it something unique that only a person who had been sent to get them would know. It should be reinforced to your child to never ever go with someone who does not know this password, no matter what that person says to them.

 

 

 

 

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