Remember in elementary school when Officer Friendly would come to class and teach you all about stranger danger? Well, it seems that world has only gotten to be a scarier place, or I am more frightened by the things that go bump in the night because I am a mother now.
Either way, one of my biggest fears is that my child will be abducted or hurt. I donâ€™t know that I could survive the pain of the loss.
I am very adamant about teaching my girls a few key tactics to try to avoid being abducted or at the very least help them get away if some monster were to ever attempt such a horrific act. More importantly, children need to be aware that sometimes monsters come in the form of someone they already know. Sometimes the stranger is a beautiful young woman or a handsome neighbor boy, but if they are not a child’s parent they should not be taking a child off byÂ themselves, ever.
Secret word: My girls know that if anyone comes to pick them up and says â€œ Your mom sent me,â€ one, they should run away immediately and if by some chance they donâ€™t or the school doesn’t figure it out, a secret word is to be requested. No one knows this word but my husband, my children and myself.
In fact, you should make your child aware that even if a person is dressed like a cop, if mommy and daddy sent them, they will know the secret word. If they do not, do not get in the car with them. Donâ€™t make it the word obvious or easy.
Never get into the car/van/ice cream truck with anyone: I donâ€™t care if Mr. Frosty is giving away a three-scoop chocolate covered waffle cone for free. Do not get in that ice cream truck. I donâ€™t care if itâ€™s Anthony Wiggle and he promises you a place on stage in the next tour. I donâ€™t give a crap if itâ€™s the son of Mommyâ€™s best friend. Unless Mommy tells you itâ€™s okay, just assume that it is not!
Never go into a room alone with anyone: It could be the room mother, the priest, your dadâ€™s best friend, an older student or even your neighbor, do not go into a room alone with an adult that is not your parent.
No one is allowed to touch your private spot: No one for any reason ever, unless itâ€™s your parents or the doctor when she is examining you, is allowed to even see your private area. If they try, scream and run away. Tell the first authoritative adult you find and make them call your parents.
Scream, twist, shout, bite, scratch, poke them in the eyes, punch, kick them in the balls and wiggle away: Itâ€™s harder to abduct the squeaky wheel than the docile â€œyesâ€ child. Thank God my girls can scream like banshees. I told them if someone picks them up and tries to take them (I donâ€™t care if we know them, unless itâ€™s a family member who has express permission to do so) SCREAM! Scream like your life depends on it, because it does. It will attract attention and the abductor may just drop you and run away because he/she doesn’t want to be caught.
Never answer questions asked by strangers on the street or give an adult directions: Adults know that they are running the risk of being considered a pedophile or straight up creep if they try to talk to a strange child on the street. Adults donâ€™t approach children for help or directions; if they do, this should be a red flag. Run away.
Kids should always travel in pairs and not go off alone: If you are at the park or on the playground at school, in the store with mommy or on a field trip, never go off on your own. Stay with your chaperon. Stay with a group. Itâ€™s harder to steal a kid who is with a group of witnesses. Itâ€™s much easier to grab the quiet kid who goes off or hangs back by himself.
Donâ€™t take candy, ice cream, money or toys from strangers: If an adult that you donâ€™t know calls you over to them to give you candy, ice cream or a toy donâ€™t go. This could be a tactic to get you near enough to them to grab you. Besides, you donâ€™t know this person and they should not be giving you treats, regardless.
These are a few of the tips we teach our girls to help them stay out of harms way and hopefully, to prevent being abducted.Â Also, I recommend practicing what to do if someone gets his or her hands on your child so that your child knows how to react and doesn’t just freeze up.
What do you teach your child to do in case of an attempted abduction? Would your child know to fight back?
Photo Source: Clarkston SCAMP