It seems like every time we turn on the news we hear about another Amber Alert for a child that has been taken. It has been said that nearly 800,000 children are reported missing each and every year. These alarming statistics make me want to hold my son just a little bit tighter each night. It makes me never want my son out of my sight.
This week we had an interesting experience that gave me the opportunity to teach my son about stranger danger yet again. We were eating lunch at the mall with some good friends of mine. Logan was getting a little restless and decided to wander around and look at all the little seventy five cent rides along the wall. We thought nothing of it since we were right there on the other side of the food court. I never really worried about Logan talking to strangers because he is usually so shy that he runs away when anyone even looks at him. Come to find out all his shyness had gone out the window and he was asking strangers for money to ride the rides. While no harm was done, aside from his mother being thoroughly embarrassed, it was a great opportunity to teach him about the dangers of talking to strangers. Though I’m not sure it will stick very well with him since they did actually give him money to ride the rides.
It is important to talk to your children from a young age about what to do when a stranger approaches them. This week a young girl in a neighboring city was approached by a man who yelled at her to get in the car on the way home from a friend’s house. She screamed and ran back into a neighbor’s house and likely saved her life because her parents had taught her to never let a stranger take them anywhere. Another girl in Wisconsin was not so lucky as she went missing after a stranger asked her to help him find his lost puppy. There are predators targeting children everywhere. Don’t let your child be one of them. Teach them from a young age the importance of fighting back. Many times the perpetrator will give up if they put up too much of a fight. I can’t imagine the horror of losing a child and I pray that I never have to. In the meantime Logan and I are going to have lots of talks about staying away from strangers.