Stranger Danger and Joan Jett – Child Safety Need Not Be Boring
It’s been a long while since I’ve thought seriously about stranger danger, but I know some of you are in the thick of it, so this tid bit is to ease that chaos.
It’s terrifying to prep your kids for the evil in the world, no matter what stage of life they’re entering. I struggled for a long while with keeping them “safe” vs. guarding them against all of humanity. I have fairly extroverted kids, so teaching boundaries and discernment from an early age was key.
Gripping the snack tray of her stroller with wide eyes and kicking feet, my first daughter would accost strangers with an exuberant “Hi!!” as we approached them. If they did not respond at 15 paces, her greetings would get louder and more aggressive until she’d be yelling, “Hiyeeeee” at the top of her voice as if to reprimand, “look, buddy, don’t you know how this salutation thing works?! I say, ‘hi’ and you respond back! I’m a BABY, for heaven’s sake!”
Although my husband and I were overjoyed that she didn’t scream at the sight of an unfamiliar face, we had another challenge. She might be a little too approachable and willing to engage.
I had her fingerprinted, assembled the “child safety kit” with a lock of hair and all the rest. I nearly vomited while doing so for two reasons:
- she barely had any hair
- just thinking of the possibility that I would ever need to use these items was a bit much for this new mom to bear.
When my daughter was old enough to memorize a song (2ish) I made up lyrics for her to memorize our address and phone in case we were ever separated (shout out to Kory Miller’s mom for the idea). I told her to find an adult who looked kind and maybe a little bit important, someone who looked like they could help her find me. She should then sing it.
It was to the tune of “I Love Rock n Roll” by Joan Jett complete with the guttural “OWWW!” at the end. I figured that should she fall into the wrong adult’s hands, an assailant wouldn’t bother with this kind of sass from a toddler, and any decent adult would be asking for encores until we could connect.
My name’s Jasmine Ford
I live at 604 McDowell
My name’s Jasmine Ford
740 -1643… OWWW!
When her younger sister was about 3, the kids were surprised to hear their address song on the oldies station with the “wrong” lyrics. Sorry, Joan.
My kids are tween/teen now and the worrying and preparation don’t stop, it just changes in perspective and tactics. Their pre-world prepping has moved from address songs to “what do you do when…” or “how might you react if…” and setting up communication plans for reconnection. They know that the world contains evil, but we would all like to seek out the good.
Best of luck with your preparations. (OWWW!)
Julie Ford is a certified life coach, speaker, trainer, and author of Creating Time and Energy. Individuals hire her to trade their “badges of busy” for intentionally full lives. Organizations hire her to attract, train, and retain our next generation of leaders, the Millennials.
Based on the foundation that when things are running smoothly at home, amazing things can happen at work, Julie uses one-on-one and group coaching to help her clients to define what matters most in their lives and to realize what is and isn’t working. Collaboratively, they move through a customized plan to implement habits that serve rather than sabotage their intentions. Her clients find more joy and less chaos in every stage of work and home one habit at a time.
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