Teaching MY Child About Strangers

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It seems like an easy task, right? I thought so. My 5-year-old knows not to talk to strangers. But, something happened this weekend that is now making me rethink how I am teaching her the important information that she needs to know should she ever get misplaced from me (i.e., her phone number, address, etc.).

Although it is a good thing for her to know, we had not really pushed her to learning our new address. Seeming how we just moved not long ago, she is still learning her address. This is also something she is to be questioned/tested about on this week in school. So, with a few memory learning tools and our address, she quickly learned it … and almost knows her phone number.

But, back to what happened. I was talking to another mom somewhere this weekend and she was with me … and so was my mother. The woman simply asked if we were from around here and my mother piped in and said that we were but now live in (insert city here). It was from that statement that my daughter chimed in  reciting our address because she was so proud that she had learned it.

I immediately froze. Uh-oh. She can’t be doing that every time she hears someone say the city we live in, especially to a stranger. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to insult the woman we were talking with by telling my daughter that she is a stranger and she doesn’t need to hear where we live.

So, I took her to the side and quietly told her that we don’t tell anyone where we live unless you know that person and/or if it is a police officer, fireman, etc. I praised her on how well she remembered it — it is actually a really long number and street name — and told her to keep practicing because she was doing so well. It was just the excitement of the moment that I didn’t want to ruin for her as she remembered her address and was able to say it without me asking.

Kiera Ashford is associate editor of Nashville Parent and mother of two rambunctious kids and a new baby!

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