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Unsettling situation with my kids - Page 3

post #41 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadian View Post
How many kids do you hear about in the paper that were lured away by strangers offering candy (still, yes), looking for puppies, asking for directions? And not just 5 or 7 year olds, older kids. I think 60 min did a 'sting' with kids and showed parents - of 'mature', reasonable kids - how easy it was to lure them away.
And there are always the ones who are outright snatched - as in forced into a car against their will. Just sayin'. (Thinking of that Tahoe girl - what was she, like 12?)

It's not like you need to be paranoid, but it WOULD definitely be better if you reiterated that the kids should stay as a group.
post #42 of 65
Sorry, I should not have said "EVER".

Of course, if it is a very small child, or a child in danger, etc, these are exceptions.

Trin.
post #43 of 65
*nm*
post #44 of 65
If it was raining I might offer a ride to a child I knew, say a friend of my son's. I might not know where he lived or his phone number, but recognize him. But...If your son said it was weird, then it was weird.

That said, regarding the safety risks of letting kids walk...yes, there is a small chance someone could abduct them. But there is a GREATER chance you could get in a car accident on the way home after picking them up. No one says it isn't safe to pick your kid up from school in the car.
post #45 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktmeyer View Post

That said, regarding the safety risks of letting kids walk...yes, there is a small chance someone could abduct them. But there is a GREATER chance you could get in a car accident on the way home after picking them up. No one says it isn't safe to pick your kid up from school in the car.
I read that parallel in a book ("Free Range Kids"). Stranger abduction risk is 24 percent while family abduction risk is 50 percent.
post #46 of 65
honestly I would have done what you did and contacted the police and I would keep an eye on them for a few weeks to make sure the lady did not show up again. But after that I would let them walk home on their own. It sounds like a quiet road and they seem smart enough to handle it. Sure there is that allusive 1% (I actually think it is WAY) less of stranger abduction but many things we do carry risks. I am of the mindset that we assess and teach our children to be safe but that it is also critical to let them have a lot of freedom. 5 and 7 is not too young, imo, to walk home from school alone. Children here do. I would however, counsel then to walk together in the future.
post #47 of 65
Around here, an adult must meet a child at the bus up until a certain age. I'm not positive what age it is b/c my kids attend a private school. However, we get stuck behind this one particular bus that literally stops at every driveway along this 2 mile stretch of road to let off a kid to a parent. These kids are older elementary, like maybe 5th graders? Every.single.stop had an adult. And these were single family homes. The only thing I can guess is that there is something to be said for making sure that a 1)child isn't dropped off at the wrong place, and 2)making sure that someone is even home to receive the child.
post #48 of 65
Quote:
How many kids do you hear about in the paper that were lured away by strangers offering candy (still, yes), looking for puppies, asking for directions?
I hear about the same very very very few kids, over and over again. Like "the Tahoe girl" mentioned in a PP.
post #49 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadian View Post
As someone said earlier, being there ensures their safety 100% of the time.
At no time is anyone's safety ensured 100%.

Adult women are much more commonly abducted than prepubescent children, so maybe our kids are at greater risk of getting hurt if they're in the way when someone is trying to abduct us than they are alone.
post #50 of 65
I personally do not think you over reacted by calling the police. I would also tell the kids school so that they can warn other kids and maybe go over the stranger danger and trusting your instincts lessons.

I honestly think that your son did what he was supposed to and you should be proud of him and it shows that he is old enough to walk by himself. (although they may not be old enough to play around streams alone). I hope that I am able to let go and let my children have some independence. I live in a large city and you rarely see kids younger than 12 or 13 out without adults. I want my kids to learn how to listen to their instinct and be independent.

You should be proud of your son and reiterate to all your kids that he did the right thing and what you should do when something feels "weird".

Women have and do abduct people. Last year, just an hours drive from where I live, a young woman abducted a child from close to her school. She was caught on video tape. She was seen walking hand in hand with this 6 yr old child (whom she never met before). Turns out she abducted the child and brought her home to her boyfriend. It took the police 2 weeks to arrest the couple and months to find the childs remains.
post #51 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post
At no time is anyone's safety ensured 100%.
As my 6 yr old says, well...duh. We could be hit by a meteorite.

But you can exponentially increase the safety of YOUNG CHILDREN by being there.

Instead of letting them lag.

And wander off to do other things.

And be approached for rides by strangers in cars.
post #52 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by sapphire_chan View Post
Really, how your DS handled things makes me think they CAN walk by themselves. After a bit more practice with sticking together.

Being old enough to walk isn't about never encountering "weird" situations, it's about responding correctly. Your ds will probably be proud of himself in future because of this.
agreed. it's a good example of why you stick together when out walking -- probably just someone offering a young child a ride home in the rain, nothing to worry about, but not necessarily overreacting to contact police, just in case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinitty View Post

a) Normal people who are otherwise strangers KNOW to not offer rides to kids, EVER.
I'm not sure why you would think this -- If I had my kids with me (thereby making me a "safe stranger" I would offer a ride to a 5 year old I saw out walking alone in the rain... better me than someone who meant to do them harm, right? actually, if they said they lived nearby, I'd just watch them walk home, to make sure they made it safely. I understand that kids are not supposed to get into cars with strangers, but I hate that people are so afraid to help kids that we ignore situations where they might be in trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenifer76 View Post
I read that parallel in a book ("Free Range Kids"). Stranger abduction risk is 24 percent while family abduction risk is 50 percent.
can you explain these percentages? 24% and 50% of what?
post #53 of 65
Personally, I don't think I'd have called the police simply because someone offered my child a ride. As others have said, it sounds like he might have appeared to have been alone, and it was cold out, etc. I could see myself stopping and offering the same thing, depending on the circumstances and if I really thought that the child was too young, alone out there in bad weather, etc. And I know that there are a lot of just old-fashioned, friendly, neighborly people who wouldn't think twice about something like that.

However, at the same time I wouldn't ever say that you overreated by calling the police. You're the mom here and I believe 100% that you need to trust and follow your instincts when it comes to your kids.
post #54 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cascadian View Post
... but that 1% or whatever is enough to skeeve me.
thing is, that 1% was the chance that the lady was planning something other than actually giving him a ride home. So 1 time out of 100 times a kid trusts a stranger more than they should it's a bad bad thing. Only her DS didn't. 1% of zero times is zero.
post #55 of 65
Haven't seen kids alone out in the street like that, but in stores and such I've done a number of "do you know where your mommy is?" (generally followed by glancing up and spotting the adult coming round the corner "oh good, there she is, whew." )

I think "are you okay?" is a more normal question than asking if the kid needs a ride. Which is why the police should have a heads-up. Even though there are a dozen reasons things could be innocent.
post #56 of 65
Am I the only one who would be more worried that they are playing in a creek in weather that's cold enough for snow suits than that one got offered a ride?

The person offering the ride probably meant no harm, and he was cautious enough to turn her down.
post #57 of 65

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/newreply.php?do=newreply&p=14993519

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffani View Post

can you explain these percentages? 24% and 50% of what?
From the Klaas Kids Foundation (and the number is 49 percent, not 50 percent per their site, sorry):

Quote:
Based on the identity of the perpetrator, there are three distinct types of kidnapping: kidnapping by a relative of the victim or "family kidnapping" (49 percent), kidnapping by an acquaintance of the victim or "acquaintance kidnapping" (27 percent), and kidnapping by a stranger to the victim or "stranger kidnapping" (24 percent).
Edited to add: The book Free Range Kids is where I read about the parallel of kidnapping vs. car accidents -- not where I got my statistic from.
post #58 of 65
I think you should be very, very proud of your son for the way he reacted. Even though it was probably nothing I think calling the police was a good idea, too.
We had an issue with a neighbour in our old house, a middle aged man and his dog who used to appear every time the kids went out to play Even though he probably didn't mean any harm; he was lonely and had mental health issues), I'm glad I got advice from the police at the time. My girls were 5 and three, playing in a quiet cul-de-sac in a country town. They had boundaries in sight of the house where they were allowed to play.

Did the police have any advice for you? I found ours very supportive of giving kids a bit of independence and reassuring.
post #59 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenifer76 View Post
From the Klaas Kids Foundation (and the number is 49 percent, not 50 percent per their site, sorry):



Edited to add: The book Free Range Kids is where I read about the parallel of kidnapping vs. car accidents -- not where I got my statistic from.
That number almost certainly includes teenagers. Teenage girls are abducted at a much more frequent rate than prepubescent children. There's much more to fear with teenage girls than with little kids. Teenage girls are the most commonly abducted people, then adult women, and then maybe prepubescent children? I read that in Protecting the Gift but I can't remember the specifics. The number of prepubescent children kidnapped from their neighborhoods by strangers is very very low.
post #60 of 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinitty

a) Normal people who are otherwise strangers KNOW to not offer rides to kids, EVER.
This kind of attitude make me so sad

I think of the kid whose bus driver left him off on the wrong street, miles from his house. His grandmother was frantic when he wasn't on the bus. A kind hearted woman saw him, stopped and got him home (she called the police as well). Should she not have stopped and helped??
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