Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mama Bear Moment

On Sunday I was chatting with a good friend about how we can keep our babies safe from all the bad things in the world. When do you start telling your children about strangers without scaring them? And how do you tell them what constitutes a "bad person" or "bad situation"? Growing up, I remember watching Winnie the Pooh: Don't Talk to Strangers. That seemed to do the job for me! Oprah recently aired two shows about child molesters, and an expert discussed two things you can start telling your children early on. Now, the shows were pretty nauseating to watch (actual child molesters discussed how they first manipulated and then molested their victims), but the two nuggets of info have stuck with me:

1. Adults don't ask children for help (i.e. "Can you help me find my lost puppy?")
2. Adults don't keep secrets with children (i.e. "This is our secret. Don't tell your mommy or daddy.")

I thought these were very interesting points, and something that children can comprehend early on. The expert - who I believe was with the FBI - said this helps children recognize a potentially bad situation. He said the truth of the matter is, the majority of crimes against children aren't carried out by a "stranger hiding in the bushes". It's by someone they may know or are familiar with. The adage "Don't talk to Strangers" doesn't really work anymore. There needs to be more to the conversation.

Just thought I would share for all the Mama Bears out there : )