Any parent’s worst nightmare occurs when a child has been kidnapped. A major challenge that confronts parents is teaching their kids how to be vigilant without standing making them afraid or overly anxious. In the light of recent happenstances in many parts of Nigeria, here are 5 things every parent can do to prevent kidnapping
Give and teach your child a code word
Give your child a code word like “Monster” or “Gelly” and tell your child not to trust anyone who doesn’t say those code words especially for strangers. You can run a test and have someone pick him or her up at school and see if your child demands the code word before actually leaving with the person. Make sure he or she masters the act of asking for the code word before venturing into letting anyone pick him or her up. On most occasions, children are been abducted in cars and as such, once your child knows how to ask questions especially in relation to the code words you would have avoided a major catastrophe.
Don’t put your child’s name on a backpack or clothing
Putting your child’s name on a backpack or clothing can actually make it easy them to become an easy target for abductors. Children tend to trust people who know their name and once abductors get to call them by their name, they feel safe with them already.
Teach your child that kidnappers look for regular people
Tell your children that kidnappers look like monsters, teach your children to avoid strangers asking for help. Teach them not to speak to adults they don’t know. Tell them that if adults need help finding a lost pet or directions to someone’s house, they should ask another adult.
Teach your children that being safe is more important than being polite
Advice your children that if a stranger approaches them and something doesn’t feel right, they should walk away. Ensure you teach them about safety and how they can flee from situations that they don’t understand.
Teach your child to use words and not scream when in trouble
Screaming alone doesn’t really cut it, children scream every time but when they scream using words it’s a different ball game. They should yell out saying, “Help! This man is not my dad”. Otherwise, people will probably think they are just screaming.