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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Leave Them Kids Alone

After hearing about Jerry Sandusky's conviction, I quietly thought, "Yay." Though "yay" is not exactly the best outburst for a crime of his nature, it's what came out. To be honest, my life before kids, I hadn't given much thought to child predators. I grew up with Times Square as the mecca of child prostitutes and drug addicts - danger was pretty clear.

After becoming a parent, however, everything changed. Every corner, every face, every situation became a potential risk factor. And don't say you've never experienced that heart-stopping moment when you've lost view of your kid and thought the worst.

Kids run off - it happens. I am constantly yelling like a mad-woman for the boys to stop running before they reach the end of the block or not to turn the corner or stop running off to prove their manhood.

Until this workshop I attended, I'd been telling the boys about "child predators." I gave them the whole "there are bad people who do bad things to children," speech. But the workshop presented by Yello Dyno, shed some light to the way kids think and why my methods weren't working. Now that one child molester is behind bars, it seemed the best time to share what I learned.

"Tricky people," that's what Yello Dyno calls these predators. Say predator, monster, even bad people and kids automatically picture pirates, the wolf man or Ronald McDonald, although I always thought Burger King looked suspicious.

"Tricky people" can be anybody - it's not what they look like, it's what they ask you to do that matters. Never take anything or go anywhere with anybody unless you ask first. I know, I know - easier said then done.

Next I told the boys if we ever get separated they should go to the cashier (if we're in a store) or seek a mother with kids in tow or an officer/security guard.

Notice how the officer is the last resort?

That was in the presentation. But in my opinion, the "mother with kids" sits best with me. No mother would brush off a kid asking for help in finding his or her mommy. Unless that mother is Jacole Prince.

Finally, the boys practiced yelling "Help, this is NOT my mommy/daddy!" at the top of their lungs.

They were a little reluctant at first but they got the hang of it, especially the yelling part. When I told them how in my day, we were told to yell "Fire" to get attention, they said, we'd have better luck screaming "Pickles!!"

Can you picture a woman fighting off her attacker yelling, "Pickles! Help me, Pickles!"



12 comments:

  1. Great post, Nami! I need to have this talk with my kids! Really good tips!!!!!

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    1. Please, have it every opportunity you can - it's never too early.

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  2. Oh, Nami this is such vital information. So glad you shared this with us. I've been wondering how I was going to tackle this issue and you've given me a great head start...thanks !

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    1. Check out their website - they have a lot of other handy information as well. They've done their research as to how kids think and we need to know because you can be sure Predators do.

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  3. HOLY CRAP THAT JACOLE BITCH IS CRAZY! Let. Me. At. Her.

    I've actually shown Noah pictures of predators in our neighborhood.

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    1. Really, how could her boyfriend of 10 years, not know?

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  4. You got the "Yay" part right, but you should've added something like a billion exclamation points and then done some sort of That's-One-Less-Sick-Bastard-Out-There celebratory dance.
    Such a great post! And such excellent information you've shared with your boys (and now with us). I haven't really discussed bad/tricky people with Lily yet...but, thanks to you, I feel a sudden sense of urgency...but I *have* told her that if she ever gets separated from me, she's to find another mommy and sing "our" song, a silly one I made up that includes Ryan's and my names, our address, and phone number.

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    1. That's genius! I've made my cell number into a tune, too but I guess I need a first and second verse including Daddy, Grammy and Baba's.

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  5. Wonderful post, Namzola. I’ve taught our six-year-old to seek help from a police officer, if he should ever become separated from us. This has happened only once, thank God, and recently, too. Long story...

    O yeah, by the way, tell your boys men pushing baby strollers or men holding screaming babies, are in all probability, safe to approach.

    And they can always ask me for help!

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    1. Sorry, didn't mean to leave dad out. You're absolutely right. Good for you talking to Christopher. Keep it up.

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  6. There is a sports center down the street from us where a lot of kids hang out. The owners put up a big sign that says " Wall of Shame" and hung up pics of every molester in our area.

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    1. That's great for awareness. I'm waiting for one to honor the people who spoke up!

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