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Old 01-07-2009, 02:51 AM
 
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Thanks for your post, Trinitty. Like I said, I just got the book but I've never really felt uncomfortable with my decisions regarding DD's going to friends houses, staying the night, riding her bike, etc., until someone else made me question it. And I don't ask a million questions first (we do know the families) nor have I ever thought twice about one of her friends having two (very nice) teen brothers.

I guess I am just hoping that this book does not cause me to question my instinct, which, so far has done me well. The reason I am interested in reading it though is because DH and I have different opinions on protecting our kids and I don't want to ignore his fears, yk? He's more likely to say, "no, she can't go because what if x,y,z happens?"

We have though, recently had a bad experience with a new babysitter (who we won't use again) the kids were fine, yes but I just remembered this was a situations where I guess my instinct was wrong.

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Old 01-07-2009, 01:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinitty View Post
...
from what i've read, it seems like it's the same-old thing:
Trinity,
I don't think it was the "same-old thing" when he first wrote this. More importantly, I think the concept of recognizing and amplifying your intuition --and your children's-- is still fresh. He doesn't simplisticly say "listen to your instincts".

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Originally Posted by Trinitty View Post
imo, there are better ways to protect our children from harm than to read volume after volume of that-man-at-the-park-should-be-feared-and-questioned quasi-fiction.
Actually, that's precisely his point. Kidnapping by a complete stranger is extremely rare. That's not to say you shouldn't be mindful of his "ACE" acronym. You certainly should prevent Access, and Control of your child and block a potential predator's Escape path. But what you you shouldn't do is obsess over that to the exclusion of the the far greater danger from those people that may have snuck under your radar screen and that your child already has contact with.

He is warning against a false sense of security with people that feel familiar, for whatever reason, whether they are a friend of a friend, soccer coach, the likeable casual acquaintance, etc. An over-emphasis on "stranger danger" makes people feel like they are being proactive when in fact it may be distracting them from the greater danger they feel ill-equipped to deal with.

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the most obvious points of the book seem to be:

a) use common sense, and
b) trust that voice in your head.
Not to pick a nit here but, unless I've missed something, so far he hasn't referred to common sense at all. He does compare what he calls the "logical brain" to the "wild brain", with an empasis on the "wild brain". I think the logical brain might more accurately be characterized as the "civilized brain". Which is to say that you shouldn't override your gut reactions by rationalizing (using "logic") for fear of hurting someone's feelings (which involves being "civilized" or observing propriety).

Using his opening example, it is only with the benefit of hindsight or Monday morning quarterbacking that it sounds like "common sense". The thought process he describes was recognized and acted on at a primal level: 1) I can't outrun him so I need to walk and hope that I don't alert him that I'm onto him; 2) I can't use the keyless entry since all the doors will unlock and give him multiple points of access; etc. The step by step analysis didn't surface to a conscious level until later.

If I have one criticism of this section of the book it would be that he doesn't make this distinction a little more explicit. Her actions seem like a well reasoned action plan but really it's Mama Bear on Adrenaline.

That isn't to say common sense doesn't apply. This guy made her nervous and common sense says that she should have respected that. But first she would have needed to recognize the instinct and intuition (the voice in her head) that were probably socialized out of her. That voice is useless if you have it on low volume and keep hitting the "mute" button.

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...
maybe that old man watching children in park just lost his wife of 50 years and is trying to cheer his heart by watching children play? *that* is much more likely than something horrid.... but what's the first thing that many think? it's because of paranoia pedalling like this that they do.
...
sorry to rant, and i'm not trying to pick on anyone here, but these kinds of books make me angry and depressed because they instil fear in people (mostly mothers) and ruin a true sense of community.
...
Again, the author's emphasis isn't on "stranger danger". And even if it were you can certainly protect your child from the hypothetical widower without demonizing him (or men at the park in general) or becoming an emotional wreck. You simply follow the ACE acronym (Acess, Control, blocked Escape).

And he isn't instilling fear. In fact, he is trying to liberate people from the paralyzing fear of things that are possible, but less likely, and which distract us from the greater danger from people we have a false sense of familiarity with.

Not to be too philosophical about it, but the only community this threatens is the false sense of community that arises from a false sense of familiarity and security. It is precisely that artificial sense of familiarity, security and community that predators try to foster. DeBecker is warning us against being unwitting accomplices to that.

Anywhoo, that's my take on it for what it's worth.
~Cath
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Old 01-07-2009, 01:47 PM
 
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And he isn't instilling fear. In fact, he is trying to liberate people from the paralyzing fear of things that are possible, but less likely, and which distract us from the greater danger from people we have a false sense of familiarity with.

Not to be too philosophical about it, but the only community this threatens is the false sense of community that arises from a false sense of familiarity and security. It is precisely that artificial sense of familiarity, security and community that predators try to foster. DeBecker is warning us against being unwitting accomplices to that.

Anywhoo, that's my take on it for what it's worth.
~Cath
Cath,

Thank you for your take on it. For someone who has just started (barely) the book, this is very helpful.

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Old 01-07-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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i have had some gorgeous afternoons in the park with my friend and our daughters ruined because she has mused aloud about people there (or who could be watching from houses?!?) in this light.
To me reading this book would have the opposite effect. you would trust instincts to feel whether it was an old man filling his heart after a loss but your heart would also let you know if that same old man were up to no good.

Like the instance with Dd and the man taking pictures..many people might say, "Oh he was taking pictures of the beach or the sun but I have seen many people on the beach and never once did my hair stand on end and when I saw this man...I knew he was up to no good. Before reading this book I might have questioned that feeling and tried to talk myself out of it by telling myself he was just taking pictures .
But having the courage to trust my "wild brain" I knew he was up to no god and I stared him off.
the book actually helped me trust more and showed me not to scare my kids with stranger danger but rather to let them feel out a situation.

I don't think "let your kids talk to strangers" is the same old thing. I think "stranger danger" is the same old thing.

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Old 01-07-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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Cath,

Thank you for your take on it. For someone who has just started (barely) the book, this is very helpful.

Drummer's Wife,
This thread is a great way to "process" what I'm reading. I'm glad my musings are useful to someone else.
~Cath
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Old 01-07-2009, 02:03 PM
 
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...
I don't think "let your kids talk to strangers" is the same old thing. I think "stranger danger" is the same old thing.
hipumpkins,
That about sums it up. Thanks for being more succinct than me.
~Cath
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's our thread for ch. 3:

http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1024016

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Old 01-09-2009, 09:37 PM
 
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I just saw this now. For me, the "trust your intuition" thing is actually not old news, just b/c we usually don't hear it explained so well or in this way. And I think he is right, that we are taught to be polite and override it, or to just ignore it in favor of being sensible, polite, etc. It made a lot of sense to me when he explains that intuition is hardly anything that is vague, or new agey, but is in fact your unconscious mind collecting information without you even realizing it. To me his point is that we can be less afraid (like your friend) if we are confident in our intuition.

that being said, I also did not at all care for the dramatizations. A few of them really bothered me. I don't recall him using a lot though, and I'm trying to imagine a book without a single one and I think it would be difficult, since they often illustrate what he is trying to say. Maybe he could have only used ones that work out, like the HOlly story in the beginning. Most of them do I think, but there is one where a boy is abducted (in the shoe store) and it is very hard to read, even though we have all heard of stories like this.

I think the male/female thing is based on statistics rather than stereotypes.

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Originally Posted by Trinitty View Post
nak

does anyone dislike the book, or books like it?

from what i've read, it seems like it's the same-old thing:

a) trust your intuition

b) women, especially with children, are sensitive and are to be trusted

c) men are at best disinterested and kind of dangerous, and at worse perverted

i have always found "dramatised" descriptions of seemingly true crime, or attempted crime to be revolting, because it is meant to entertain and alarm, and the opening pages are just that. it's exactly what oprah does when dealing with these issues.... and this has all of the markers of an oprah-style best seller. prime-time tv is full of this stuff too.

imo, there are better ways to protect our children from harm than to read volume after volume of that-man-at-the-park-should-be-feared-and-questioned quasi-fiction.

the most obvious points of the book seem to be:

a) use common sense, and

b) trust that voice in your head.

we have known that since swinging down from the trees, this just restates this in twelve ways and makes millions while doing so.

...

maybe that old man watching children in park just lost his wife of 50 years and is trying to cheer his heart by watching children play? *that* is much more likely than something horrid.... but what's the first thing that many think? it's because of paranoia pedalling like this that they do.

i have had some gorgeous afternoons in the park with my friend and our daughters ruined because she has mused aloud about people there (or who could be watching from houses?!?) in this light.

sorry to rant, and i'm not trying to pick on anyone here, but these kinds of books make me angry and depressed because they instil fear in people (mostly mothers) and ruin a true sense of community.

trin
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Old 01-11-2009, 02:11 AM
 
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subbing... I read most of this book a year or so ago. I'm still working through this thread, but am so glad to see it and the related one on chapter three.

Thanks!

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Old 01-12-2009, 12:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The discussion has been moved to the Book Clubs forum. I'm putting links in the first post.

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Old 01-16-2009, 06:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We're getting ready to start on ch. 4 today. Please feel free to join us in the Book Clubs forum.

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Old 01-20-2009, 01:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I added the book club threads to the first post.

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Old 01-26-2009, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Here's the thread for ch. 5:
http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1031806

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Old 02-18-2009, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All right, I'm a slacker. I finally posted the thread for ch. 6 and it should be hitting the Book Clubs forum today.

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