Joanne Posted February 4, 2008 Share Posted February 4, 2008 A mom commented in the other thread about "thanks for reminding me not to leave my 11 year old home alone"........ This hit a nerve and pet peeve for me. Finding a stranger in your home is an exceedingly rare situation. The 11 year old made a mistake; so did his grown DAD! I'm not defending what the 11 year old did or making a case for all 11 year olds being left unsupervised. But leaving an average 11 year old alone is a reasonable consideration. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. It's not a fair or reasonable "reminder" that this family had trouble; it's not proof that tweens can't be alone. It's proof that things happen and even adults make mistakes. But I *am* saying that I've observed parenting decisions based on skewed perceptions rather than reality. Our news media deliberately focuses on certain stories to the degree that it seems more common, more risky, more likely than it is. It also seems more prevalent, but real numbers do not back that up. It's just more reported. "I won't let my kids play outside"........because of the fear of stranger abuduction. The chances of your kids being abducted by strangers are miniscule. They might *seem* larger due to how pretty, white, middle to upper class females are highlighted when they are abducted. But the reality? Protect your kids from abduction but not marrying and divorcing a person from another country, or with known to be boundaryless relatives, known mental illness. "My kids can't use a public bathroom by themselves"......because of fear of molestation or murder. When this one comes up, someone enivitably knows someone who was hurt, killed or molested in a public restroom. In reality, the risk is minimal. "That is another reason I homeschool" ......... because of Columbine type school shootings. While I'll rally against the social quagmire and under responsiveness of parents and administration that create a Columbine, the chances of a public school shooting are tiny. The real risks to our children are usually known to us; they are at our Thanksgiving Tables, leading our Youth Groups, teaching our kids in public school, Coaching our Little League. People who for whatever sick reason want to hurt your kids usually *build relationshp* with us and the kids, are known by us. "Stranger danger" is counter productive. Teach kids how to protect themselves fully by honoring their "ick factor", by not making them interact with and especially touch or be touched by ANYONE against their preferences. And by teaching them the signs of people who are a risk. And also do your part by reporting to authorities, even and especially when the perpetrator is in your family. Usually by the time a child molestor is caught, many unreported incidents have already occured. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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