Dateline NBCtonight brings to light what some parents question and fear the most – “Would my child EVER be tempted by a stranger?” Natalie Morales tests her own son’s view of “stranger danger” when it comes to the five words which parents hope their children have heard which are routinely pounded into their heads through appeal (and sometimes) the use of fear as they try to get them to understand the inherent dangers of strangers…DO NOT TALK TO STRANGERS! Do they listen to the words parents pray they hear?
Parents many times find themselves seeking comfort in the often times delusional perspective of “MY kid would NEVER do THAT!” The false sense of security which leads to unwarranted explicit trust in the ability of children to make rational and adult decisions has cost many parents those precious live and burdened them with a lifetime of regrets and heartache; what should you and should you not expect your child to be able to refrain from when it comes to the temptations of savvy strangers bent on taking advantage of our youth?
Natalie Morales and several other parents watch from behind the scenes as their children a subjected to some real-life scenarios which have been used by child predators to coax children into dangerous situations which have cost them their lives. Watch as they experience the shocking horror of the results of what “telling about strangers” translates in to instead of, as author Dr. Michelle Borba suggests, “showing them solutions.”
Dr. Borba is a child psychologist and parent educator on many subjects ranging from bullying to avoiding dangerous situations has written a new book titled The Big Book of Parenting Solutions where she discusses how to make a more measurable impression on children about the dangers of strangers through active role playing where they engage in seeing themselves as participants in the scenario, learning to think about as well as respond to uneasy feelings of danger in order to condition them to recognize potentially serious trouble.
This documentary is not about making children fearful of strangers and stereotype every stranger as an evil and harmful individual; it is about making them aware of how to protect themselves in different scenarios and how to recognize (and avoid) situations which could compromise their well being. This is definitely one show parents should watch with their children as a learning tool which they can discuss afterwards in addition to practicing some of the suggestions of Dr. Borba.
Image and video clip courtesy of NBC