Your kid isn’t that special

I was reading a Facebook post today about a friends twelve year old son who wondered off to a friends house and didn’t tell her.  Naturally when 8pm rolled around, she got worried.  Her son eventually meandered home and forgot to call.  He is grounded for the next month though.  

I saw a comment on her post though: 

“Kids don’t realize how unsafe it is out there & what they put us Mom’s thru pulling stunts like that. And that’s cause lots of parents don’t even worry if their kids still ain’t home by midnight, much less care about someone else’s child.”  

And I wanna be really clear, I’m not about to bash a mother’s worry over her child not coming home. However, I’d like to point the vast majority (like 90%*) of children are abducted and/or assaulted by people they know.  Family, friends, friends parents’, teachers, older friends are the majority of sexual assaults/abductions.  

Telling your child that coming home after dark is dangerous because a man might jump out of the bushes and kidnap them or whatever does way more harm than good.  It sets them up to assume if they’re assaulted or kidnapped it will be by a stranger when in fact it is way more likely that if they are assaulted or kidnapped that it will be by someone they know.  It prepares them for 10% of the danger and puts them at elevated risk for the other 90%  

Instead teach your children to be smart and to use common sense. Tell them to keep an eye out for red flags in both strangers and friends/family.  Most of all, don’t let them live their lives in fear of the attack or kidnapping that will probably never happen.

*This number isn’t something I pulled off of some crime statistic website, but rather it’s a number I’ve heard over and over again through different medias and one I think is probably true.


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