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Keeping Them Safe

This morning I was thinking about Victoria Stafford, the eight year old Ontario girl who went missing after she left school on Wednesday, last seen walking with an unidentified woman.

Who is this woman? What was Victoria doing walking with her? This got me thinking about my 6 year old girl, who's finally gotten over the paralyzing shyness that was the signature of her toddler years. I decided to talk to her about it.

Me: "Hey... listen. What would you do if a grownup you'd never met before came to talk to you after school, and she was really nice, and she said that I told her to come pick you up?"

Alyssa: (shrugs) "I'd go with her?"


What followed was a lengthy, and a bit repetitive, discussion about how you NEVER EVER EVER go ANYWHERE with a grown up you don't know, NO MATTER HOW NICE THEY ARE.

Both my kids know about "bad strangers". The only problem is, is that I don't think they understand the concept of "bad strangers" playing nice to try and trick people.

I just pray to God that she got it. We may have to talk about this again (and again, and again).

Scary stuff.
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Jaina said...

We always had a safe word. If we weren't expecting someone else to come and get us from school, they would have to have our safe word. And it was not a common word either, but it was one we could remember. Even if we knew the person, we had to ask them the safe word. That may be a good thing to teach your kids. Then they don't have to worry about the "good" and the "bad" strangers. If the person doesn't know the safe word, they're off limits.

Jeanne Elle said...

I've heard other people talk about the safe word procedure, and I think it's worth doing. I'm going to talk to her about it, I think, and see if she gets it.

My issue with her is that she can easily be drawn into conversations and forget what she's supposed to do, but then again if I consistently remind her, hopefully it'll sink in!!

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