Friday, November 30, 2007

Public Service Announcement

If you have kids who are old enough to use the phone, or someday will be, please read this post from Sheepish Annie.


Unknown said...

Thankss for the PSA. I still can't believe that the girl left so much info, my kids never leave a message even when I beg them and then the voice is barely audible.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the link. I'm passing on to my son the paranoia about strangers, not opening the front door, and giving people too much info, etc that my parents passed on to me (dad was a cop so there you go). He doesn't like using the phone yet, which is good. (BTW, today Google refuses to recognize me, so I'm anonymous. But this is Kim)

Sheepish Annie said...

Thanks for passing the word. I really do believe that most people are good at heart and wouldn't think twice about the messages I received yesterday. I also don't want to go to a paranoid place. But, having spent twenty years advocating for children as an educator and counselor, I want them to be smart. Knowing how to stay safe is what keeps us from having to be paranoid, right?

The best part about kids is their exuberance and willingness to believe that the world is a fun place. Let's keep them that way by making them feel empowered and safe!

Melissa Morgan-Oakes said...

That's scary.

But. About strangers. Don't make your kids afraid of strangers, please, please. Teach them what strangers are "safe". We tell them not to talk to strangers, but we do it ourselves all the time, right in front of them. Kids model, it's what they do. Encourage them to do things like ask the time of a 'safe' stranger, so they feel comfortable approaching a person they don't know and asking for help. We tell them to find "a policeman or someone in a uniform". But how often at the mall or on the street is there a policeman visible? And 'a person in a uniform' might be a teenager at McDonalds's who really could care less that your kid is lost and alone. Instead, teach them who's the real best bet, and ever-present in nearly all situations - a mother with children, who will probably move heaven and earth to reunite a kid with it's mother, and will probably mother it herself until that can happen. If there's no moms with kids, the next option would be an older woman. Women are statistically much less likely to abduct or abuse kids than men. Teaching them to be comfortable approaching 'safe' people with simple questions prepares them for a time when they may need to approach them with a serious question like "I am lost, can you help me find my mom?"

Buy these two books:
The Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift, both by Gavin DeBecker.