Teaching Your Child What To Do If They Get Lost In A Public Place.Jul 29, 2022
About losing children in public places...
I read a few tips once that I’ll share here in case they help someone. If anyone else has any tips of their own, please share!
1- As early as possible, we taught our kids our phone numbers and addresses. My 4-year-old twins were able to learn this information too. You can make it a song to the tune of a nursery rhyme and make them learn.
2- We’ve told our kids that if we they ever get lost, they should seek help from a woman or man with children or a woman rather than a man (Sorry to the men in the group- no offense intended... most abductors are male).
3- I once asked my son what he thinks a “stranger” looks like and he said, “Someone who is scary looking.. like a monster.” And I realized he has no idea what I even mean when I say things like “please don’t listen to a stranger when they ask you to follow them etc.” So then I had to role-play several situations with him and show him pictures of friendly people who could be potentially unsafe.
4- For younger kids, role-play can be helpful but it should be done several times so their brain can “save” it. Notice how they watch the same show over and over? Their brain needs repeats to truly remember things.
Here’s an example of a role-play:
“I’m 3-years-old Mona and I’m with mama at the mall.. all of a sudden I see my mama is gone! Oh no! I’m scared! What am I gonna do? Should I go ask that man for help? No! Should I go to that nice lady with kids like me? Yes!”
We can reinforce with pictures.
5- The article I’m linking also mentions the “tricky people” concept which I thought was helpful. One big clue that a grown up is not trustworthy is if they ask a child for help, “Can you please help me get something from my car?” I told my kids that stranger grownups never ask kids for help and in that situation they need to run and not help.
And as always, let’s be so so kind to our children and treat them well and not take their “no” personally so they don’t lose the ability to say “no” to an adult trying to hurt them!
May Allah keep all our children and families safe always. Ameen.