Today, people are busily going about their lives and don't always take the time to make sure that their kids are aware of "the rules". We always think that the bad things are going to happen to someone else--not us. Of course, we're absolute idiots to go with those thoughts and not do whatever it takes to keep our loved ones safe.
Perfect examples are kidnappings. Many of us really don't take out time to warn our children of the plain and simple fact that "bad" people do exist right here in our own little towns. Time and time again, I have watched news reports on TV where people have spoken to the reporters about how difficult it is to believe that Joe Blow would have ever done such a thing. Afterall, he was such a wonderful person in the community... That is why it is IMPERATIVE that we give our kids the rules, not the suggestions, of who they can take rides from, etc., etc., etc...
Make sure that you discuss a detailed small amount of people who are authorized to give your child a ride home. Don't just tell them that it is okay for them to get in any car with the parents of their friends. Tell them EXACTLY what parents are okay to do this by their names. Too many kids think that if they have seen their parents talking to this person who is offering a ride it is okay to get into their vehicles.
I love how our local school district requires you to fill out paperwork when you are enrolling your child about who is allowed to pick up your child after school. If later on, you decide to send someone else who is not on that list, you MUST contact the school office and advice them of this. It is a great idea to call the school before school has been dismissed for the day and tell the secretary or principal that your child is to ride home with a certain person that day.
Walking around town can also put your child's life into jeopardy. For the most part, our people are going to be totally harmless but there is always the chance that there may be someone out there with no good on his/her mind.
1. To be safe, I recommend that if your child is going downtown, school, etc, that you make sure that they do NOT walk alone and definitely not after dark.
2. Make sure that they know that they need to scream LOUDLY if the stranger, etc makes any moves or tries to get them into their vehicles. A ploy that some dangerous people use is to bring a dog or cat into play. Maybe they'll tell the child that their prized pet is missing and that they need the child to help him/her find it. Make sure that you tell your child to not take this bait.
3. Give them a whistle with a very audible and shrill sound for them to blow.
4. If at all possible, send them with a well-charged cellphone and have emergency phone numbers programmed in so that they do not have to stumble around having to dial numbers for help.
5. Make it a rule that if your chilren are walking to point "A" that they call you as soon as they get there and then call you when they are ready to start back home. Tell them that they need to go straight to point "A" and straight home. NO detours. If they have not called you when you think they should have, call them or go looking for them IMMEDIATELY! Don't take any unnecessary chances.
The life that is saved by these few simple suggestions, may be YOUR child's...