You asked

How can I teach my child to be wary of strangers but still polite?

When it comes to talking to strangers, the golden rule for any child is not to. However, there will be some times when your child will need to talk to someone that he or she doesn’t know. Whether it’s someone in a shop who asks a question, or your child who needs to find something out, there are times when the stranger rule will have to be broken.

If your child is four or older, and in your company, he or she may be more willing to respond to questions from strangers. It may take a little longer though, as your child weighs the situation in question against your rules. In these cases, don’t label your child as shy – rather give him or her an extra minute or two to formulate an answer.
If your child does not answer, then it’s okay (even in the etiquette rule books) for you to answer instead. That way, you’re still being polite, and not bending the rules about talking to strangers. You could even add that you have told your child not to talk to strangers by way of explanation – that’s perfectly acceptable.

The most important thing is that your child realises that it’s most important that he or she doesn’t talk to strangers when you’re not around – rather than worrying about whether he or she is polite.

Of course, older children are better equipped to deal with strangers questions – an eight year old, for instance, will be able to give a polite answer to a stranger’s question whether you are present or not, while your four year old is more likely to blurt out the first answer that he or she thinks of, and only in your company.

More questions

As with most activities done in excess, too much time spent on computer games and console games can negatively affect your child's development.
A preschooler may not be ready to learn the finer points of table manners, but they are old enough to understand the basics.
Young children who pick their noses incessantly may do so to relieve stress or boredom, or it’s may just be a nervous habit like nail biting. Many times, the child does not even realize they are doing it.
If you want your child to grow up with a strong spiritual foundation, it’s never too young to start teaching, but remember to teach by example.
When you catch your preschooler telling a lie, it is natural to be worried. Parents may feel that when their child lies, it reflects on their parenting abilities.
When you catch your preschooler telling a lie, it is natural to be a bit upset. A parent may think that when their child lies, it reflects on their parenting skills.
Get your child’s attention immediately by whispering to him - this let’s your child think that something fantastic is about to happen!
Four year olds generally recognise differences but can still get confused
If you really do not know how to accurately explain the birds and the bees to your child, then it would be a good idea to invest in picture book. There are some great ones available, where the experts have done all the explaining for you.
By 24 months, your child will use around 80 words and understand many more.

Latest

Trending

Hello Mama!
Help us help you by allowing us and our partners to remember your device as having browsed MummyPages and serve you better content and ads

We're on a mission to help our mums and their families thrive by informing, connecting and entertaining.

Join us in our mission by consenting to the use of cookies and IP address recognition by us and our partners to serve you content (including ads) best suited to your interests, both here and around the web.

We promise never to share any other information that may be deemed personal unless you explicitly tell us it's ok.

If you want more info, see our privacy policy.