Good Morning Parents.
I hope you had a wonderful Easter Holiday and enjoyed time with family and friends. It’s been a very sad week at Street Smart Kidz, as it seems we have lost another child.
Last Wednesday a 8 year old Ontario girl walked away from her elementary school with a unidentified woman when the school day was over. She hasn’t been seen since. There is a brief video of the young girl and woman walking away from the school and you can clearly see the 8 year old isn’t being grabbed or pulled in any way. She looks very comfortable going with this woman, which makes you think she must know the woman. Yet the parents have viewed the video countless times and don’t recognize the woman as either a family friend or relative.
This situation scares the daylights out of me and parents everywhere, and forces us to think about what we have taught our children to protect themselves so this living nightmare doesn’t happen to “our” family.
You can’t protect them from every possibility, but you can teach them to use common sense and through repetition they will get the message and develop a understanding that if they follow your “rules” they will be safe.
USE A CODE WORD!
Remind your child at least once a week, what your secret code word is. If a person tries to pick them up from school, soccer, football or anything else and doesn’t know the “secret code word”, tell your child to NOT go with them. No matter who it is! Not a grandmother, aunt , uncle, family friend or any one else. No matter what they say!
Make your children understand you would ALWAYS give the “secret code word” to a person if you wanted them to “pick you up”.
WALK WITH A FRIEND!
Whenever possible, encourage your children to use the buddy system when walking to and from school and everywhere else if you are unavailable to drive or walk with them. Please remember what happened in California a few weeks ago. A young girl asked her father to take her to the store for ice cream. The father was watching his favorite TV show, so he told his 8 year old to walk if she really needed ice cream. She was missing for 10 hours. I can’t imagine how he feels.
I believe if we give our children the tools, they will make the safe decisions in life. You just have to keep repeating the information until it finally sinks in. It’s the same as trying to get them to clean their rooms.