The other day, my husband came home from work and told me about a story he had heard on the radio. It was about an attempted child abduction - in a neighborhood we almost moved to. I was freaked out on many levels.
It prompted us to discuss whether it was time to talk to our four year-old daughter about "stranger danger." We've made high level comments in the past, and talked about inappropriate touching. But we've never told her about the potential of someone trying to take her.
I also posed the question on our community's Facebook page, which led to some good discussion. And, at the request of members, I rounded up the following resources from experts:
The conversation came naturally a few days later when the ice cream truck drove down our street and we made a purchase. Our young, naive child commented how she'd like to ride along with him sometime. A man she has never met, but presumes is "good" because he sells her ice cream.
That led us to have "the talk" right then and there. In our driveway as we ate our treats. After which we did some role playing with her so she could practice what she had learned, and to help her understand the types of situations we were referring to. It was the beginning of a conversation will we continue to have again and again.
Most parents realize in this day and age, they need to talk to their children about such things. But what about digital dangers? How many of us realize the importance of having those discussions, let alone know how to handle them? Are parents aware of all the dangers that exist in cyberspace?
A number of posts have appeared on the web this month which discuss this important topic. Sue Scheff discussed "Catfish" and teens on the Hufington Post. And this article appeared on the same site from mothers Mary Dell Harrington and Lisa Endlich Heffernan.
What resources have you found to help you navigate these important topics with your children? Please share!