I will be the first to admit I watch way too many crime tv shows and crime movies. I already have anxiety and these shows usually add to my anxiety over my children and their safety. I can watch those dumb commericals about tortured animals all day and not shed a tear, but if I happen to see a mother who has lost her child or a child who has been hurt you can bet your ass I’m crying.
I always have those heart stopping moment when I lose sight of one of them, usually Cash, for a minute in any public area. It usually happens because he’s gone inside a tunnel at the play ground, behind the slide, or behind the car, just right out of sight in a matter of seconds. Thank god we have never been in a bad situation or a potentially harmful situation but it’s still the worst feeling in the world.
I have been thinking lately about how to approach the subject of “stranger danger” and safety with my boys. I think Cash is getting old enough to understand that not everyone is your ‘friend’ and some people can be mean or potentially dangerous. I’ve also talked to Tyson about when we should teach Cash about 9-1-1 but that is a whole other post. You always read those stories about children who were abducted by someone they knew, thought was friendly, or had a close call. I want to try and avoid any sort of situation like that if at all possible, as does every parent.
I came across blog post talking about one mother’s close encounter with a possible bad situation. Long story short she had an ovarian cyst ruptur and rushed her and her 4 children to the ER. She left her two older boys (10 & 8) out front to wait for their neighbor to come pick them up and take them to school. She assumed this would be a 5 minute wait but the neighbor was not actually at home and it actually took closer to 40 minutes. The two boys were approached by strangers who kept asking for help. They wanted the boys to go into the men’s restroom and convince their friend it was safe to come out and be helped by the doctors. The boys politely refused but the strangers kept insisting and told the two young children they could potentially save a man’s life.
That’s pretty compelling stuff to be telling a child. Honestly, I would probably fall for it as a 27 year old adult.
Anyway, the boys kept declining and the strangers eventually gave up. A man came out of the restroom, got into the car with the other strangers, and drove off.
How terrifying is that?!?!
The boys knew this person was a ‘tricky person’ because “Adults don’t ask kids for help.” She did not teach her children about “stranger danger” because there are times when a child does need to ask for help from a stranger and it’s perfectly okay and safe to do so.
She goes on to talk about how to teach your children about the “tricky people” rule. Which is “If a safe adult needs help, they’ll ask another adult. Not a kid.” She got this tip from Pattie Fitzgerald, the creater of Safely Ever After.
I am going to go through that webpage and write another post with all the important tips and tricks Pattie Fitzgerald talks about. I will try and condense the information for you and make it a “quick” read.
I wanted to share this story with you today in hopes that you will talk to your children and spouse about safety and “tricky people.”
***Note, Jodie’s blog, Time Well Spent is great and you should definitely go check it out!***