I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again – Stranger Danger is a “mommy myth.” Brought to us by some savvy marketers many moons ago, it has become one thing many moms worry about – when they really and truly don’t have to. It’s a scary idea and not much more.
The chance of your child being stranger abducted is incredibly slim. The US Department of Justice statistics of kidnapped children in America estimates that 58,200 non-family abductions take place each year.
There are approximately 75.3 million children in the United States – the chance of abduction by a non-family member is extremely rare.
Please don’t get me wrong, we need to provide our kids with basic information about stranger danger and what to do if they get lost – things like don’t get into a car with someone you don’t know and find a mom or grandma to help you if you are lost.
We need to help them stay connected to their inner voice that tells them when someone isn’t safe – we all have one. As adults (and especially women) we usually have it socialized out of us – gotta be friendly and nice! Even to that creepy guy, right?
Gavin De Becker’s excellent book Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane) talks about how we can help our children and teenagers (and ourselves) get in touch with our intuition. Our intuition that tells us when someone is “off”. It’s happened to all of us – that guy on the elevator, the woman in the park – something feels odd, off, not quite right about them. That’s your intuition talking.