Last night before I went to bed as I was checking my facebook, I saw an amber alert. My heart sank as I read about a little 4 year old girl abducted from her front yard while playing with her older brother..... I thought about two of my own boys... the same age as this brother and sister that had been playing outside. It started to make me think about if I have truly prepared my children how to act when a stranger approaches them.
But then I also recalled an episode of Criminal Minds. One of the characters said that, if I remember right, only 1% of abductions are from strangers, that most are neighbors, family or friends ( i could have remembered that statistic wrong, but I know it was very much the minority). He said that we have prepared our children for one type of abduction and left them vulnerable to all the others.
It's a subject that most of us have probably mentioned to our kids, however have we we really prepared them as much as we can? I know for myself sometimes I hesitate in mentioning it as often as I should because I don't want them to fear the world. However I am learning that if they are prepared, and have an action plan they will be less likely to be so afraid. Hopefully they will feel empowered knowing they know what to do in the situation.
So today I sat down with my two older boys and went through some scenarios and although they answered every question right, it still makes me wonder what they would really do if they were put into that situation.
I remember when I was younger and watched some talk shows, how they would have parents on a "stranger" show and the parents would talk about how much they had prepared their young children to stay away from danger, and how they were confident their child would not fall for a trap. However when the show had an undercover police officer approach their kids on hidden camera, almost every single child fell for the scam and went with the stranger, much to their parents dismay.
I know I can't spend my life in worry.... I have to trust God... and know that no matter what he is in control. However I also know my job is to teach and prepare my children and to keep them as protected as I know how, and to give them as many tools as I can to help them if and when they are ever put into these types of situations.
Here are some links to websites that help you get those conversations started with your child and some helpful hints. I know that I will be reviewing them myself and having many talks with my boys.
I am praying for this little girl and I ask that you all pray with me too. Her name is Alisa Maier and she was abducted from Louisiana, MO. Please pray she comes home safely to her mom and dad... as well as all the other missing children out there....
Please read these and go over them with your children.