Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pardon Me While I Climb Up On My Soap Box

It has seemed over the last year or so that the media is covering more and more child abductions. More often than not, they do not have a happy ending. I myself was almost a victim of an abductor when I was around 1o or 11. We lived way way out in the country. I remember this man driving up in a light colored car and called me over to the drivers side window. He told me that he was lost and was trying to find the closest store. He asked me to get in the car with him so that I could show him the way. When I told him no, he tried grabbing my arm. I shrieked and screamed and took off towards my house. The man peeled out and was long gone before anyone could find him.

Over the years, I have often wondered what happened to that man. Did he ever get caught? Were there any victims that didn't get away? How many children did he hurt?

Ethan is almost 5 years old and is the social butterfly of our family. When I think about all of the sick people out there, I know that his need to know everyone around him is both a blessing and a curse.

We have talked in the past about not talking to strangers but up until now, it has not been a large topic. Until Sunday. Sunday at the park, I took extra notice of all of the children running around while their parents were blissfully unaware of their every move. Add that to the fact that in Pet Co. a few weeks ago, he drifted away while my head was turned for 2 seconds to go look at the fish. So, this weekend I started the discussion of "Stranger Danger". We talked about not talking to strangers when Mommy and Daddy aren't around. We ran through scenarios of different ways that strangers could try and entice him into a vehicle.

It was actually more difficult than I had originally imagined that it could be. It's interesting trying to reason with an almost five year old and trying to explain something to them on their level without introducing too much unnecessary fear. In his mind, if someone lost their puppy, he should be able to get in their car and help them find it. That instilled a fear in me that I had never felt before. I wanted to immediately make him an expert on the subject of strangers.

I spoke to his school as well and found out that they are going to have a "Stranger Danger" program, where police officers will come to the school and discuss this with them.

I'm looking into this book and this one. I'm hoping these books will help me better explain the difference between good strangers and bad ones. I don't want to squelch is friendliness, but I don't want it to get him into trouble either. It's a fine line, I guess.

Bottom line...parents....talk to your kids. Sooner than later.

1 comment:

erin said...

Scary to think that there are such horrible people who do these type of things, but you are right....we need to educate them NOW. I don't have quite so much worry with Haley right now, because she's really really shy, but I still want her to know. Very scary to think about. :\