The best way to increase confidence and reduce fear is to focus the conversation on what a child can do if faced with a dangerous or uncomfortable situation. Parents can approach abuse prevention safety skills just like they approach street-crossing safety. In street-crossing, the lesson is on the safe behavior the child is learning, not on what the car will do.
Applying this logic to abuse prevention is easy. Unfortunately, many adults tell children all about bad strangers and the terrible things that could happen. The child remembers how frightening strangers can be and does not remember the prevention lesson as clearly. Remember, focus on the skills the child is learning, not on the danger.