Talking to tweens about stranger dangers

“There are 2 middle aged men driving a van approaching tweens in an Oakville neighbourhood.” This is the message I received from multiple friends by email; I noticed Facebook postings and saw warnings via twitter, along with an article posted on Inside Halton. This scares the heck out of me! I have tweens!

It really resonates with me as I’ve just started letting them go to the neighborhood park and play outside with their friends on their own. And let me tell you, it was so hard to go to this next step allowing them some of the experiences I so enjoyed growing up. But now my mind runs wild, my “mama bear” wants to rear its head as I begin to sharpen my claws!

I know my kids are completely unaware of this potential danger. They aren’t getting the same alerts as I am. They need to be aware of their surroundings, and know it does happen here, but at the same time I don’t want to terrify them.

I will tell them what is happening and reinforce a few safety tips:

  • Adults do not ask kids for help (not with directions and not with help finding a dog)
  • Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right – leave
  • Run away and go to a local store, business or to a house you trust
  • You do not need to listen or be polite to adults in these situations

Here are a couple of good reads about how to start the conversation with your kids. Talking about stranger safety & What to teach kids about strangers.

Thanks to Halton residents for getting the word out and being on the lookout. It feels good to know the community is coming together to keep our kids safe.

 If you want to connect with us more directly for additional parenting information, you can:

  • Leave us a comment below
  • Tweet us: @haltonparents
  • Email us: haltonparents@halton.ca
  • Dial 311 (within Halton) or 905-825-6000 to talk with one of the public health nurses. We’re around Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Read Cynthia’s Bio

About Cynthia Lindsay RN

Hi everyone. My name is Cynthia Lindsay and I work as a public health nurse with the school years program. I've been a nurse for almost 20 years (wow time flies!) with the last 10 years focused on what I've discovered to be my passion... Parenting. I now have many parenting accreditations and enjoy connecting with parents in the community through Triple P, parenting groups & social media. "Je parle aussi le français" and I love working, making connections, and raising my teen son & pre-teen daughter with my hubby in Halton.
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