Strangely enough, it’s tough trying to teach kids about how to stay safe from strangers. We want them to be smart about ‘bad guys’ but we also don’t want to frighten them.
Studies show that children perceive strangers as people who are ‘ugly’ or ‘mean’ and once someone has been around a child even just once, that person loses his or her stranger status. But the reality is that neither of those things is true and children are often in the most danger from people they ‘kinda know’ and who are friendly to them.
So when we discovered The Safe Side, a video and learning resource ($12.99 US) created by Julie Clark (founder of Baby Einstein Company) and John Walsh (host of America’s Most Wanted and a parent who lost a child to stranger abduction), we were relieved to get some help on this important but difficult topic.
Kids follow along the adventures of the very zany and very entertaining Safe Side Superchick—she really is hilarious. They hang on her every word as she shares some key safety concepts. Most importantly, kids (and parents) learn how to differentiate among ‘Safe Side Adults’ (a short list of people you all agree on as being safe contacts), the ‘Kinda Knows’ (the scary group whom they are familiar with but who still don’t have parents’ permission to take them home after school) and the ‘Don’t Knows’.