I came across this link a few days ago, and it really sunk home. I am terrified of someone pinching one of my kids. I might be biased, but they are all particularly good looking (nah, not biased at all lol), but aside from being cute, none of them are shy. They will talk to anyone, take anything from anyone, and would probably walk off with someone if they asked. My eldest has been known to accept food from total strangers, which sends me particularly insane, and I know my girls would also take food from strangers given the chance.
However, I always felt that "don't talk to strangers" was a bit extreme. There are situations EVERY DAY that require we speak to someone we don't know. As well as that, there are plenty of strangers that I would WANT my kids to feel safe approaching should they need to - such as police, teachers etc. So this approach really sits well with me, and I thought I would share it here :-)
Tricky People Are the New Strangers
Thanks for that, and what incredible timing! My daughter's school sent out a text to all parents on Thursday regarding stranger awareness and my minder told me that she saw a garda petrol car there on the same day :shock:
This obviously sent a major red flag for me. My daughter would be shy enough, but put a puppy/kitty/something cute in the mix and like most little girls, it changes everything. LIke yourself, it is a major concern of mine. Last year there was a scare at the school when a child had complained about a man in a van hanging around; it ended up being a case of "over dramatic child + overactive imagination" and the man in the van was a plumber waiting in his van for a client to get home. Regardless, it's still an eye opener.
The foster agency I work for, specializes in sexual abuse.
I 100% believe that the biggest risk to kids is their mom, it's mom who brings in the boyfriends, the male acquaintances who baby sit.
It's almost always mom's new boyfriend or the brother/friend of a possible boyfriend that she leaves the kids with while she chases her new man.
Either way, the person is almost always known to mom and the kid(s).
The whole "stranger danger" thing has confused me for some time now, because the creeps that will do some thing, are almost never strangers.
Pervs don't just go "hey I'm going to go take a kid from the park today" They have been plotting, going every day, getting to know the kids and may seem "normal" after a while.
I am not a parent, but I just wanted to pop in here to say something. Myhorsesonador is right- many times, when crimes are committed against kids, it was someone they knew.
OP, PLEASE stress the importance of your kids NEVER taking food from strangers. While I'm not sure of my opinion on the whole "never talk to strangers, don't look at them, don't even think about looking at them" kind of teaching, a kid taking food from a stranger just gives me the chills! First of all, what kind of person randomly offers food to a kid they don't know?
As far people we know committing these crimes, trust me, I am aware of that. Very well aware. Which is why I think it's important to teach kids that ANYONE who says it should be a secret from Mummy and/or Daddy is someone to immediately tell their parent/s about. Sure, occasionally you might find they ruin surprise parties, but it is far better in the long run.
Another point they don't cover in the article is that kids should refer to their "parts" using the anatomically correct words. A little girl saying that someone "touched her flower" isn't going to stand up in court, which is where it is needed most.
... Um... I walk my "cute furry animal" bunny all the time in parks that happen to inhibit kids. *frowns*
I actually try my best to avoid kids (they can be awfully loud and wild around small animals and kids are quite bothersome in general [no offense!]) but they happen to be everywhere. Everywhere. Everywhere. :shock:
I don't agree with the entirety of that article.
Geez.... I thought it was just because I really like toddlers and don't have any of my own any more and really like the part where I get to play for a few hours and then when they are cranky, tired, whiney-butts, they go HOME!
Adults giving kids "gifts"? I'd be calling the authorities on 98% of the adults my kids have come into contact with. Every last teacher, coach, babysitter and so forth have bestowed countless quantities of "stuff" upon us. Noe if one child is being singled out to receive items that the rest isn't, then yes that would be worrisome but giving the whole group of kids stuff is not.
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