I was driving home from an osteopath appointment yesterday and turned on the radio just for fun. There was a talk show going on and they were discussing how to make your kids more safety aware, especially regarding strangers. The guest was a police officer who had some interesting things to say. She dispelled a few myths and made some very good points.
1. "Never talk to strangers" is a bad motto to follow. It is normal and expected that children (and adults) will talk to strangers everyday. Instead, she suggested the guideline, "Never go anywhere with anyone unless you talk to us (the parents) first." She said kids should not be made to fear all strangers. Sometimes kids have become lost and the rule, "Never talk to strangers" kept them from asking for help.
2. Some parents say they would rather instill fear in their kids than have them get hurt. The police officer said that making your kids fearful is really a harmful thing, since someone who is fearful is more vulnerable to deception. Most children have an inherent instinct to be able to tell a safe person from a bad person and when they are made fearful, this instinct is tampered with and they are just fearful of everyone. In the long run, this makes them more susceptible to those who are predators as these offenders often are good at manipulation and offering a fake sense of safety, and since the child is looking for safety but is not sure what that looks like because his judgement is clouded by fear, he is an easy mark.
Wow! This was a big reminder for me not to let fear rule my decisions nor be a motivating factor in my life as it is a deceiver and opens the door to more deception. Yuck! Let fear go...let love and discernment in.
This picture was taken in Old Montreal on my birthday.