I love being a mom. And I love just about every aspect of it. One thing I don’t like is teaching my kids about strangers and how there are dangerous people out there that want to hurt them. Unfortunately it’s just part of the world we live in and as much as I’d love to duck my head in the sand and pray that they’re always safe – I know that I’m not doing them any favors by doing that.
One tool that I’ve used in teaching stranger safety to my kids is the The Safe Side: Stranger Safety. It’s created by John Walsh of America’s Most Wanted fame and Julie Clark the creator of Baby Einstein.
The thing that I love about this video is that it shows kids that strangers are totally normal looking people. It also helps put people into two categories: “kind of knows” and “don’t knows.” They also suggest that parents give their kids three “safe side adults” so their kids will know who it is okay to go home with and who’s not okay.
Baby #2 actually likes to just watch this video- as if it was like her Barbie videos. I can tell that she’s getting it because if she sees kids walking around the neighborhood she’ll say that they need to have their safe side adult with them.
I highly recommend this DVD as a way to really open up the conversation with your kids about stranger safety.
It would also be a great Christmas or birthday present.
Stranger Danger Isn’t Just for Kids
I just had a very strange experience that could have gone very wrong.
I love Craigslist – I use it a few times a year. As a side note, I just tried eBay this month and totally shot myself in the foot because I way underestimated my shipping charges on both items I sold. So frustrating. And don’t even get me started on my children’s behavior at the post office. But I digress…
So I usually meet people at a public place like the Chick-fil-A parking lot in order to do the exchange. Once I had to have someone come to the house because the item was too large to fit in the car with kids and I knew my husband would be home anyway.
This morning I got an email for our Laugh n’ Learn playhouse and it was from a grandma and her picture was on her email because she’s a realtor. She asked if I would be home today and I replied back and said I’d be home between 2-4:30, did that work for her. I mean, it was a grandma so I felt like there wasn’t much of a risk factor in having her come here.
I didn’t get a response until around 2:00 when she asked if she could come get it. By that time I was desperately trying to get Presley to take a nap (to no avail, third time she’s done that this week) and I was crazy tired and I wanted to lay down for a few minutes before responding to her that I was home. I was in the upstairs guest room with the fan on while the kids played in the game room and I did not hear the doorbell ring.
Oh, but my son did and he, despite our MANY conversations about this, answers it and invites the strange lady inside.
Then I hear him calling for me and I walk out and see this lady in my entryway.
It was the Craigslist lady and I’m all “Wha?” and mind you, I’m also half asleep. Very confused at this point.
She said she was sorry, she didn’t know I was asleep, she just knew I said I’d be home during this time so she thought she’d swing by and pick up the toy. I was like, “How did you get my address? Because that kind of freaks me out that someone could get that.”
She said that my full name popped up on my email and she looked me up on Superpages.com.
Well isn’t that handy.
The kids had scattered all the little shapes and accessories that went with the playhouse (which I had planned to gather up BEFORE I met her for the exchange) so she stood there while I rushed around upstairs and down to get them all together.
Super nice lady, but oh my gosh, who does that?
You can imagine the talk I had with my five year old after she left. I honestly don’t know what else to tell him. Any thoughts? I told him he’s not allowed to answer the door to ANYONE now, even if it’s his dad or grandmom. I’m the only one allowed to open the door.
And the other lesson here…In the future I’ll be using a hotmail address that does not link to my real name. I’m not all that technically savvy so the thought never occurred to me that this could happen.
When Stephanie isn’t selling goods on Craigslist, she is keeping a great recolection of these events over at www.Mommish.com