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Best Way to Teach a Child About Stranger Danger

Updated on December 29, 2014
Little Red Riding Hood by Andrea Wisnewski is one version you might try reading to your child to help teach stranger danger
Little Red Riding Hood by Andrea Wisnewski is one version you might try reading to your child to help teach stranger danger | Source

The best way to teach a child about stranger danger is to make it understandable to them. It must be on their level for them to remember and make the connection between a person in front of them and a dangerous stranger to avoid. The book about Little Red Riding Hood is one way to make that connection and open up the conversation about stranger danger with a young child. If you are like most people, it has probably been a few years since you have read that book. Dust it off and read it through once again. It may make the difference for a child in your life.

Teaching Tools

In the story, Little Red Riding Hood stops and chats with the wolf while on her way to visit Grandmother. Hopefully, your child would never be allowed to do such a thing in the first place. However, in the event they do, Little Red Riding Hood made some mistakes we can point out to help a child to understand that many things can go wrong.

Read the book several times to your child. Children learn best through repetition. Listed below you will find some offerings for the book from Amazon. As you read the book, take the time to ask questions and point out things that Little Red Riding Hood should have or shouldn't have done. Take this time to talk about what your child should do in the same situation. First ask what they would do, then explain to them what they should do. They may be right and you can simply praise wise behavior. If not, acknowledge their idea and give them information including reasoning as to why they should do something different. They can connect the reasoning if it makes sense to them.

Show them a video of Little Red Riding Hood. There are several offerings of the story on You Tube. One I prefer is a more gentle version, which is better for the very young child. Be sure to watch them first and make sure it is the appropriate video for what you wish to teach your child. Watching a video is a great reinforcement for a child after reading the book several times. They will actually spot and point out stranger danger items while watching.

While these are all good ideas, the best way to teach a child about stranger danger is hearing it from you! That can come from just talking with them while you are eating or in the car. It can also come from acting out scenes from the book. Act out scenes that your child may some day experience. You know your neighborhood best. Give them examples and ask what they would do. Talk to them about ways to handle the situation. Praise good efforts!

Teach your child that police and fire fighters are their friends. That way they will know to confide in them when they have a concern. Take them to the local fire or police station for a visit. Be respectful and call ahead, but most stations are more than glad to have child visitors! Building a good relationship with these hometown helpers may save your child's life. Children take on our attitude and behavior about others, make sure you have a positive outlook on them yourself.

Find other books and shows that will help. Point out strangers and help your child to practice. Make a game out of it - Good strangers, Bad Strangers. Give them points for good choices and then let them have a reward. It can be an extra ten minutes of T.V or maybe time alone with you! Maybe it is an extra book at bedtime. Children yearn to please and will blossom under your sincere approval! Catch your child being good and praise them. If your child will not speak to the granny in line behind you at the grocery store, simply say, "I am so proud that you are remembering our stranger danger! Good job!" Most people will respectfully reinforce your lesson and the child will be proud to have pleased you!

Children who learn about stranger danger at an early age are 50% less likely to be kidnapped, molested or raped. That is a percentage worth working toward achieving with your child. Arm your child. It's easy, just say, "Let's read this book tonight!"

Text Copyright 2011 Deborah M. Carey

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    • prektjr.dc profile imageAUTHOR

      Debbie Carey 

      6 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

      kerlynb, you are so right, kids know so much more today than ever before! It is essential for them to KNOW and BELIEVE that they can tell all! Thanks for reading!

    • kerlynb profile image


      6 years ago from Philippines, Southeast Asia, Earth ^_^

      I always read Little Red Riding Hood to my daughter and amazingly she gets the moral value of the story. You're right about that, we should try to warn our kids about the dangers of talking to or going with strangers. Unfortunately, not too few cases of child abuses are done by people at home or people kids already know very well. I think it is also quite important to tell them to always ask for help, tell us about things that bother them, and which specific things other people should not do to them. Parents and guardians should always look after the kids. Voting you hub up and useful! :)

    • prektjr.dc profile imageAUTHOR

      Debbie Carey 

      6 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA


      Thank you for reading and for sharing this link! It is a great idea! I will share it with others as well! God Bless!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      If you educate your children on dealing with strangers without scaring them, you can feel more confident about their safety. I was so glad that last month, while reading an article on a blog, it mentioned that there was a service I could use to track my kids to be sure they were always in safe places. At the bottom it said I could follow the site anationofmoms and be entered for a drawing of 6 months free of the service. Not bad!

    • prektjr.dc profile imageAUTHOR

      Debbie Carey 

      7 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA


      Thank you for the compliments! I know what you mean, I felt the same way about my children. Books are a great way to get life lessons into a child's level of understanding! I am glad that it will help! God bless!

    • Vanessa Anderson profile image

      Vanessa Anderson 

      7 years ago from The Sunshine State

      This is a great hub! Thanks for the advice. I'm a mom to a 5 year old daughter and her being hurt in any way is my biggest fear. Trying to get her to understand that not everyone is nice is very hard since she's so trusting, but we're working on it. I love the advice here and I'll definitely use it :-)

    • prektjr.dc profile imageAUTHOR

      Debbie Carey 

      7 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA


      Well said! Parents also need to reassure their children that they will always follow up on what they tell them. KNOWING your parent will check on others' behavior and will also hold the child responsible for the truth goes a long way to helping keep communication open and encouraging children to be aware. Thanks for the comment!

    • pelt545 profile image


      7 years ago from Hampton Roads, VA

      Nowadays, kids can't trust strangers or even people they know. Anyone can be creepy and or perverted. My suggestion is for parents to encourage kids to always tell the truth and follow their instincts when something/someone does not seem right.

    • prektjr.dc profile imageAUTHOR

      Debbie Carey 

      7 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA


      I'm glad to have given you the opportunity to walk down memory lane! Thanks for the comment, glad you enjoyed it!


      As a preschool teacher, I learned that parents are terrified for their children's safety, yet often feel inequipped to teach their child such an important issue. I hadn't really thought of the connection to Jacee Dugard.


      It does seem that Red Riding Hood is a story that is classic and timeless, yet so very useful for the Stranger Danger issue today! It worked with my children and students and hope others will find it useful as well.

      Thank you all for commenting and offering your encouragement!

    • prektjr.dc profile imageAUTHOR

      Debbie Carey 

      7 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

      Thanks for the encouragement!! Also I will check out the hubs you suggested! Very cool! Deb

    • Reynold Jay profile image

      Reynold Jay 

      7 years ago from Saginaw, Michigan

      Welcome to HUB writing. I enjoyed this very much. You have this laid out beautifully and it is easy to understand. Keep up the great HUBS. I must give this an “Up ONE and Useful.” I'm now your fan! RJ

      Based upon this HUB, you might enjoy…

      Also see "passing stranger" just published today > It's a song you mioght enjoy that rhymes Stranger and Danger!

    • Phil Plasma profile image

      Phil Plasma 

      7 years ago from Montreal, Quebec

      Great job putting this together, indeed, Riding Hood is an excellent example to use that will captivate some children. You get a vote-up, useful and awesome for this very needed hub.

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Good for you for putting this information out there, especially right now with all the interest in Jacee Dugard. Hope people will listen and take this info to heart.

    • iamsergell profile image

      Lord Sergell of House Stark 

      7 years ago from Darwin, Australia

      Very nice hub. I love Little Red Riding Hood when I was still a child. [oh, remembering those days.] Anyway, it's a good point to teach your child of not to talk to strangers.

      Voted up and useful! Following you now, follow me too! :D


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