How to Improve the ‘Stranger Danger’ Discussion

Usually when kids hear the word “stranger,” they automatically think of someone creepy or scary. However, this is usually not the case. Strangers can look like normal people and it’s important that we get this message across to our kids. You can better protect your children from dangerous situations simply by teaching them about who strangers really are, and how to react to people who act suspiciously.

Here are some questions to consider before you start the ‘stranger danger’ conversation:

Who is a stranger?                                 

To put it simply, tell your child that a stranger is anyone that your family doesn’t know well. Make sure your child knows that even people who seem nice or look pretty are still strangers. Remind them that even if they don’t look mean or ugly, strangers can still be dangerous.

What is a dangerous situation?

Help your child recognize the warning signs of suspicious behavior or “stranger danger.” For instance, a grown-up asking a child for help or asking them to keep a secret are both tell-tale signs of stranger danger. More obvious signs include an adult that they don’t know asking them to disobey their parents or do something without their parents’ permission.

How should your child react to a dangerous situation?

Experts recommend showing your children how to say “No,” yell “Help” as loud as they can, and run away as fast as they can if a stranger does something that makes them feel uncomfortable. Teach them to go to a trusted adult right away and tell them what happened.

Who are safe strangers?

Safe strangers are trusted adults who are often easily recognizable, like a police officer or a firefighter. Other safe strangers include teachers, principals, and librarians. Emphasize that they should go to these people for help if they ever find themselves in a “stranger danger” situation.

Things you can do to help:

Know where your child is at all times, and make it a rule that they ask for your permission before they go anywhere. Identify safe places in your community where your children can go if they run into trouble. Teach your child to be assertive and reassure them that it’s okay to say no to an adult and run away in dangerous situations.

You also want to ensure that your child is safe while at school.  At Prep Academy Schools, the safety of our students is a top priority. We have partnered with Secure Education Consultants (SEC), a team of highly trained former US Secret Service agents, to examine our facilities and design and train our staff on an emergency and critical incident response plan.  In addition, our campus features secure monitored entry with biometric technology and PIN for each parent and member of staff to ensure your child’s safety. We also perform instant checks on each visitor, via driver’s license and provide a name badge good only for the duration of their visit at Prep Academy Schools.

By educating our children about dangerous situations and strangers, parents and schools can work together to ensure their safety from stranger danger.

7 Tips to Raising Happier Children

We all want to give our children the best: love, happiness, and success. However, according to child development experts, happiness isn’t something that you can “give” young children. In most cases, happy children have learned to be happy. Here are some great tips that you can use to teach your child to be happy:

Be Happy Yourself                                             

Children are like sponges and they absorb everything from us; so naturally, our moods matter. Happy parents are likely to have happy children. To nurture your own happiness, make time for yourself. Since, your child’s emotional well-being is dependent on yours, it’s important to make sure that you are well-rested and relaxed.

Learn to Read Their Emotions

Identifying the signals that young children use to communicate their feelings can also be useful when trying to minimize unhappiness. For instance, negative signals such as distress, anger, and fear add up to an unhappy child. These feelings can result in children being more withdrawn, quiet, not playing, and not eating very much. Having insight into your child’s temperament can lead you to know when you should really start focusing on unlocking key aspects of their happiness.

Help Them Build Relationships

Forming relationships with others – family members, friends, caregivers, and even pets – is the surest way to promote a child’s emotional wellbeing. Deep-rooted connections, which produce feelings of being loved, understood, wanted, and acknowledged are the biggest protector against emotional distress. Encourage your children to perform small acts of kindness to strengthen empathy.

Praise the Right Things

Research consistently shows that parents should praise effort, not natural ability. Praising the effort rather than the result fosters a growth mindset, or the belief that they can accomplish something through persistence and practice, as opposed to something they are born with. This causes the child to worry less about failing and also raises their self-esteem when they achieve something through hard work and are praised for it.

Teach Optimism

Optimism is linked hand in hand with happiness, and children who are taught to be optimistic at an early age, are less likely to deal with depression and anxiety as they get older. To encourage optimism, tell your child to focus on the bright side and then point out all the good things in their life.

Form Habits of Gratitude

Research has shown that feelings of gratitude are linked to emotional well-being. To instill gratitude in your children, make it a point for each member of the family to name aloud something they are grateful for during dinner each day. This type of routine habit fosters all kinds of positive emotions and can create long-lasting happiness.

Have fun!

Playtime is necessary for a child’s growth and development and is especially effective if you’re having fun with them. If you enjoy yourself, your children will enjoy themselves. Additionally, allowing your children to have unstructured play is important so that they can discover what they love to do. Cultivating your child’s interests can lead to a lifetime of inner happiness.

 

At Prep Academy, we strive to create a culture of happiness for our students, parents, and faculty! We believe that happy children are more likely to reach their full potential, and work hard to create a nurturing, positive learning environment! Our fully certified and professional teachers and staff present a well-rounded program that brings out the happiness in each student.  With positive role models at school and home, children have a head start to a happier future!