Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old, he will not depart from it.
While preparing a lesson about dealing with strangers, I was a bit apprehensive on how to teach my son safety tips and ways to be cautious without scaring him into paranoia regarding every single person he doesn’t know. I found these books to be great resources for achieving that balance. These can also be combined with a lesson about police officers or other community helpers who children can reach out to for help during certain situations.
The Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers by Stan & Jan Berenstain: this book presents Brother and Sister Bear learning about strangers and the dangers of being friendly-to-a-fault with people they don’t know. The approach uses various scenarios, including the “one bad apple” saying to show you can’t always tell just by appearances. At the end of the book, Brother and Sister present their Six Rules for Cubs about strangers.
Never Talk To Strangers by Irma Joyce: this book presents everyday scenarios that children might find themselves in (such as opening the door at home or a stranger at a park, store, while waiting for the bus or riding a bike) and explains what they should do. The “stranger” is illustrated as different large animals. Each scenario repeats Never Talk To Strangers at the end to reinforce the theme throughout the book. What I liked most about it, other than the witty, rhyming text format, was that it didn’t just present scenarios of when someone is considered a stranger; it also presents when a person is not considered a stranger, such as when a parent or teacher presents someone to the child. My son really enjoyed the humorous approach to the book.
Never Ever Talk To Strangers by Anne Marie Pace: this book comes highly recommended and although I did not find it in my library, I want to list it in case you are able to locate a copy at your local library or bookstore. It is about a young bear, Little Jamie, who considers himself a Super Safety Expert after learning about stranger safety at school. The story illustrates how he learns to deal with strangers he encounters. The book also includes Safety Tips on the last page.