Play what-if games with your children to help teach them what to do in certain circumstances. The object of the “What If?” Game is for an adult to pose situations to children that children might face in real life, and in which they may need to problem solve or find solutions for their safety. These would naturally be age-appropriate because the scenarios would reflect each child's actual potential circumstances.
- Someone makes them feel unsafe, uncomfortable, afraid or confused
- Someone asks them to break a safety rule
- A stranger asks them for help or information
- Someone asks them to look at naked pictures
- They get lost or separated from their parent or caregiver
- Someone knocks on the door and they are alone at home
The idea is not to barrage a child all at once. And definitely not to ask a flurry of abuse related challenges in one go. Maybe just two or three questions at a time – in the car or while taking a walk. Really think about potential, upcoming situations that might vex the child, and see if the child himself can think of a solution. The What If? Game creates a feeling in the children that they can problem solve, even on their own. This feeling of confidence and competency is itself protective as children goes out in the world. Ask them what they would do if they get an “oh-oh” feeling about a person or a place.