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Old 08-07-2012, 11:15 AM   #1
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Educate kids about danger without scarring them for life?

I'm in Iowa there has been a recent rash in attempted abductions...there has been 5 or 6 reported in a tri-county area just 45 miles away. A ways further 2 little girls (7 & 11) vanished into thin air.

My kids are 7, 4 & 2...Obviously I watch them but the 7 year old does play in the back yard alone

I can't figure out how to walk that fine line between 'educating them' and not scaring them to death.

I realize that stranger abduction is almost unheard of but there is a pervert in my town who tried to kidnap (at least) two little girls 2 years ago and he's still walking the streets because he was found incompetent to stand trial (even though he admitted to police that he tried to grab a 9 year old little girl because he wanted to have $3x with her)...I've seen him around town...I've pointed him out to the kids and told him he's a BAD MAN and they're to stay far far far away from him (we walk to the other side of the store if we see him in the grocery store, cross the street if we see him coming, I'm not letting my kids get within 40 feet of him)

Ugh, I've told them the usual Do not go near a car if someone parks and talks to you. Do not go off to find a puppy/kitty/lost child/nothing, you run to me and **I** will help a grown up look for their puppy/kitty/lost child. If someone tries to grab you you kick and bite and hit and fight like crazy and scream at the top of your lungs and run away.



There was another attempted abduction today...

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Old 08-07-2012, 12:04 PM   #2
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Re: Educate kids about danger without scarring them for life?

role playing would be something to consider. have them practice saying no to someone, running if someone approaches them, etc.

I'd rather my kids be possibly scared by the lesson than to not have it at all. Kids have saved themselves by fighting for their lives!
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Old 08-07-2012, 12:25 PM   #3
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Re: Educate kids about danger without scarring them for life?

Stranger abduction is NOT almost unheard of. Obviously, you just listed several examples in YOUR AREA.

Given that there have been so many abductions in a short driving distance from you, I would NOT be letting my 7 year old play outside alone, at least until the person responsible for the abductions has been caught.

Honestly, I don't mind scaring my kids a little to keep them safe. Your kids are young so they don't need details but they do need to understand that there are people in the world that will hurt them. They need to understand that you are only trying to keep them safe.
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Old 08-07-2012, 01:09 PM   #4
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Re: Educate kids about danger without scarring them for life?

Someone posted on another site recently about how we shouldn't teach kids to fear strangers, we should teach them about "tricky people."

http://safelyeverafter.com/tenrules.html

I really like this approach and find it to be much more realistic, since kids often think that if a person introduces himself and is nice, then he isn't really a "stranger." It tries to get kids to focus on specific things a dangerous adult might do, whether complete stranger or a family member or friend. Like that an adult should never ask a child to keep a secret from his parents, or an adult should never ask a child to do something without checking with the parents first. Also, adults don't ask kids for help, if an adult asks you for help that person is being tricky and you need to get a parent. I also like that it instructs children to find a mom with kids if they are ever lost. I know a mom with kids is still a "stranger" but statistically speaking your child is much less likely to be kidnapped by a woman with other children with her than whatever strange man approaches a lost child who looks scared and confused. Oh and know what your body is called. If a child says someone hurt her fronty, that might be a red flag to the right adult who is paying attention... but if the same girl says someone hurt her vagina that is a fireball and everyone will stop and pay attention!
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Old 08-07-2012, 02:28 PM   #5
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Re: Educate kids about danger without scarring them for life?

I don't let my kids play alone outside at all. They can be outside but I am sitting in front of the sliding glass door watching them if I am not outside with them. It is simply not an option to leave them alone and they aren't "scared" of strangers but they know better than to walk up to a car or person without me being there beside them.
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Old 08-07-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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None of the abduction attempts have been in my county, they've all been around Des Moines. The 2 little girls are in Evansdale...and really there I think the parents had something to do with it.

I discussed it with them a bit and we'll just keep going over it.

It's just so scary I don't always have time to take them outside (cleaning, naps for the baby, etc)

I hope they catch this guy soon!! I hate being so nervous all the time
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Old 08-07-2012, 06:26 PM   #7
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Re: Educate kids about danger without scarring them for life?

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Originally Posted by MamaNae View Post
None of the abduction attempts have been in my county, they've all been around Des Moines. The 2 little girls are in Evansdale...and really there I think the parents had something to do with it.

I discussed it with them a bit and we'll just keep going over it.

It's just so scary I don't always have time to take them outside (cleaning, naps for the baby, etc)

I hope they catch this guy soon!! I hate being so nervous all the time
that does sound really scary! even if they catch him though, of course he isnt the only crazy weirdo out there. my kids dont play outside ever on their own. i know it takes a lot of time to work in activities with multiple ages but thats just the world we live in.
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Old 08-07-2012, 07:05 PM   #8
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Re: Educate kids about danger without scarring them for life?

I have a general rule which is never ever go anywhere without telling me or the grown up in charge first.

In your scenario, OP, I think I'd just be keeping a better eye on the kids for now. I grew up in the 80s in BC and when Clifford Olson (google him) was killing children none of us were allowed to even walk to school alone. After he was caught, life returned to normal and we were kicked out of the house until the street lights came on!
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Old 08-07-2012, 08:11 PM   #9
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Re: Educate kids about danger without scarring them for life?

My boys are allowed to play outside unattended. I'm in and out and can always hear them.

Anyways, with my 5 year old we've talked about this before and he's not scared. I've told him that sometimes people may make up lies about mommy and daddy to get you to go with them, they may try to grab you, they may try to give you candy or presents, etc. I told him that he should never go anywhere with anyone unless I have said yes first. I have told him what to do in case we get split up somewhere (zoo etc) and have told him what to do in case someone does try to take him or make him go with them (pee in pants, scream, kick, yell, say help, etc).

ds1 is very social and is not afraid of strangers. He does introduce himself a lot and talk to them, which I would never discourage. But I do feel like I have equipped him with common sense on strangers. This talk however will always be happening. Just because I've talked to him a few times doesn't mean the discussions will stop.
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