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(warning) body and stranger safety. How young is too young?

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With my son potentially starting kindy next year and making friends and parties, I have decided for my own comfort level to teach him about stranger danger but more importantly about his body and who is allowed to touch him places and who isnt. My husband originally thought I was being overly cautious until we saw something on the news, and I mentioned the baby Brianna webpiece (may she rest in peace little angel) and he has since gotten on board with it.

I have been teaching him what to say,and to yell very loudly and to always tell mummy and daddy. He knows who is allowed to touch him and when and whats appropriate. He doesnt always say it the way he should, and he laughs at times because he obviously doesnt know why its so important. Having had so many friends and a niece go through varying cases of abuse this is something I truelly believe is a necessity.

My son is 4 nearly 5. I am not comfortable enough to allow school sleepovers until he's in yr 2 atleast. 7 seems a good age for that as they are slowly gaining independance and are just that tad more responsible and knowledgable of rights and wrongs. I know I'm probably jumping the gun and overthinking the whole thing,but I'm someone who would rather have a game plan for circumstance before I need them so I'm not caught on the spot. He already has a where do babies come from book kept for him in future years.

How young is too young though? I'm one of the parents who has chosen to teach him the right names for his private parts. Not that I have an issue with anybody else not doing so but I'd rather he know the right names. Obviously with kindy on the horizon this has been my main reason for it. He is never in anybody elses care than ours,other than if he's with my mum or his other grandparents. But other than hold him hostage and not letting him out of my sight, its inevidable that he is going to be in other peoples care than mine as the years go on and I want him prepared for any situation. I know this is something they teach in school too but my belief is you cant just expect the schools to do it all. I have a responsibility there to teach at home so it makes it less scarier. I still remember being in sex ed class and rolling my eyes at everybody in yr 5 who thought it was a joke.

I'm aware that to some people what I'm doing is inappropriate, and I'm sure I probably could have waited. Its not like I am being grim and preparing for the worst. My mother ,having being a victim in an era where people knew and did nothing, is proud that I am taking the initative to do this. I strongly suspect my husband may have been at DS age,but cant be sure as it was at a daycare that he was taken out. Whilst I think I'm doing the right thing, there are people who wont and think I should have put it off. I dont plan on telling everybody what I am doing or bringing it up, but I also dont think if given the situation and its brought up that I should feel bad about it either. There are family members who will 100% think we are doing the wrong thing. I'm not going to defend our choices because he's our child, but it makes me think why in this day and age why things are still so taboo? Does making your child aware of the bad things in the world equal susceptable? Are we suppose to shield them away until they are at the age where they ask us?

I actually think it's appropriate and responsible of you to teach stranger danger and body awareness at this age.  Like you said, better safe than sorry, especially as he's going into a situation with a lot of new people. 

So long as he is not exhibiting fear when he shouldn't be, what you are doing is fine.

However, if you suspect people will be giving you grief, don't talk to them about it. Body parts are a private matter and along with teaching proper names and how to react to a threat, you should be teaching your child that 'We don't talk about body parts except here at home with Mom and Dad.'

We used about the same rules and ages as you are planning on. I don't think anyone though it odd. Most parents don't want a sleep over much younger then 7, when the kids can be expected to work out a lot of their own problems.

I think it's far more important to teach the details than it is to teach only stranger danger.  Thing is, 99% of all strangers would not hurt a child.  Even people who don't particularly like kids usually have a visceral reaction to the idea of hurting a child.  Teaching children to mistrust all people they don't know might mean a kid doesn't ask for help when he does need it.  Teaching them just to be cautious with strangers, and to know what kinds of behavior are suspicious and what kinds of behavior are flat-out wrong is MUCH more useful and important, no matter the age.  I plan to start with my girls as soon as I think they're capable of understanding what I'm telling them.

My oldest son is the same age as yours.  It is definitely the right age to teach theses things.  My son has no problem telling his name and age, and his brother's name and age to every single person he comes across.  I've been trying to teach him that it's not okay to do that, but it is taking awhile.  He is very social and this is how he connects with people, but it is important to learn now.


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