Monday, June 2, 2008

Stranger Danger

Saturday night we went to dinner, and of course, every dinner with Maddie involves a mandatory trip to the potty. On the door of the bathroom, there was a picture of an adorable little boy.


It broke my heart. He was kidnapped when he was two and he just had his fourth birthday. It brought so many questions to mind. What would I do? Are his parents still actively searching for him? Is he still alive?

And, of course, Maddie saw the poster and wondered what I was looking at. I decided to be as honest as I could.

I told her that he was a little boy that had been taken from his parents and his parents must miss him like crazy. The conversation continued at the table, where Justin and I went over a ton of situations with her and what she should do in each circumstance.

We went over the candy/toys from strangers. We went over the walking up to a stranger's car. We went over emergency phone numbers.

We finished dinner and headed to the store. Justin and Maddie split half of a brownie on the way there. He wrapped the rest of it back up and told her that they would save it for later.

I asked Maddie what the most important rule was while we were in the store.

"To stay with you and Daddy." She really was listening, I guess. Score one for me and Justin. "Because if a stranger took me, I wouldn't get to finish that brownie." Score one for Maddie.

We laughed and agreed with her that she wouldn't get her brownie if a stranger took her.

But, I couldn't help thinking of that little boy and his mommy. And wondering if he has had a brownie recently.

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Nicole (SAHM Ramblings) said...

I get so sad when I think about missing children. I worry that someday something will happen to mine. We've had half-hearted talks about not going with strangers but I guess I really need to do the full-blown things to make sure they really get it. Thanks for the reminder. Maybe I'll stock up on brownies before hand.

Wendi said...

The thing that scares me the most.
Seriously. I. cannot. imagine.

That Maddie...she does have her priorities in order! Brownies are at the top of my list too!!!

kimmie said...

The news stations here last summer did a little experiment to see if kids really would do what their parents have taught them to do. Most of the time, they didn't. Scary!! They suggested to speak of these things often. There is always danger.

On a happier note, she did have the right idea about the brownie. She may not be blonde, but sometimes I think she really is realated to me!!

Just My Type said...

Don't forget to teach her not to fall for the old "will you help me find my puppy/kitty?" ploy. It works almost everytime it's tried....unfortunately.

You should also let her know that some strangers are good and can help her if she gets other mommies, for instance.

Don't mean to imply you haven't already told her these things. Since you didn't mention it, I thought I would.

You're a great mom!

Karen said...

I shudder every time I think of what the world is coming to anymore. And I"m so glad there are still honest people in the world. Like the man who brought Micah home when he walked up the road last year.

Anonymous said...

Great Ideals, great comments. The world is a bad place.
I did get a laugh when your little one appeared to be one up on you.
It sounds like you are a great parent, keep up the good work.
God Bless.

Sarah said...

It's so hard because I don't think they REALLY understand when we tell them not to talk to strangers....I mean, they are told to be polite to new people we introduce them to, and they talk to new friends at the park, etc., etc. It is hard to find a balance between scaring them to death and teaching them to be cautious. I always hope that my girls understand the difference, but who knows?! :-(

(And I would be very scared of missing out on a brownie also....if I had been her, I would have insisted on eating it BEFORE I went in the store, just to be safe....)

Jenni said...

Oh, it is so overwhelming trying to keep them safe, and teach them how to keep themselves safe!

I can't even read news stories that involve kids any longer. It's just too heartbreaking.

Ree said...

Oh, my heart hurts for lost children. And so many times, it's not a stranger at all, but a family member - something else to teach children:

If anyone except Mom or Dad come to pick you up, have a secret word.

Something I learned being a cop's daughter.

Sarah said...

I have one daughter who cannot imagine anyone doing her harm. She is so trusting and innocent. These should be good qualities, and it kills me that I have to teach her about the dangerous people.

My kids have learned SO much from the Safe Side Stranger Safety video by John Walsh. It gives them some definite guidelines without scaring them to death. The "Safe Side Super Chick" that hosts the video is super silly, but clear. Anyway, check it out!

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