RAISING KIDS TO TRUST EVERYONE
I was just reading a blog on MySpace that shocked me and infuriated me. With so many stories on the news of child abuse by neighbors parents never suspected as pedophiles, stories of child abductions, and all other crime around us on a daily basis, all the warnings out there for parents to be ever vigilant and teach their kids not to talk to strangers and so forth, this blog truly made me speechless. I am horrified at the apparent lack of supervision of these 8 year olds and obvious lack of safe guards.
What you are about to read is a grade A example of how children should NEVER behave! The author is a man in his late 30’s writing a humorous blog about his new odd neighbors. This family moved from another city and this was their very first afternoon there.
Please keep in mind that had this man been a pedophile, its content and end would have been tragically different. PARENTS: WAKE UP!!!
” …… I met the kids, two eight-year old twin girls.
Fifteen minutes later, they had come down the hill into ‘my’ backyard, playing with my cats, who were a bit shy as they are with all new people. They ran in. Then I see a piece of straw being poked through the cat door that [one cat] recently created by ripping out a corner of my screen door. The girls were at my door trying to entice the cats out. Ummm… yeah.
‘Umm… hello?’ I inquire.
‘We’re just playing with your cats,’ Twin One says.
I continue, ‘I see that. They’re kind of shy. The black one is [cat 1], and the orange one is [cat 2].”
‘Are they married?’ Twin Two asks.
I laughed at this question. I am not used to talking with eight year olds, who think cats get married.
‘Well,’ I look at the two spayed/neutered cats and continue, ‘No, they’re not married. I’d say they’re adopted brother and sister.’
‘Oh.’ There’s a pause while they look at the two. One continues, ‘I wish we could come inside your house.’
Umm.. No. Go away little girls! I’m off work and trying to wind down and relax.
‘Please do not ever come inside my house, okay?’ Setting boundaries.
They go back to trying to entice the cats with the straw through the hole in the screen door. [Cat 1] shows mild interest. [Cat 2] … wants nothing to do with this rambunctious pair and is hiding under the fold out sofabed. I go back to playing my current videogame fascination … The game emits weird background music and sound effects, including the sounds of birds screeching.
‘What are those sounds?’ One of the two matching 4’4″ silhouettes at the door asks.
‘That’s from the video game I am playing. They’re birds.’
‘Why do you still play video games?’ Twin two asks in that ignorant/innocent/inappropriate way of an eight year-old, assumingly because they think I am too old to playing such things.
‘Was I supposed to stop?’ I ask back, ‘why do you think grown-ups can’t play video games?’ Classic turning the question back on the child technique. I am smarter than a 3rd grader!
‘Well,’ they look away and think, ‘Our dad doesn’t play video games.’
I decided this was a good time to leave and run to the store. I repeat that they are not to come into my house and leave them standing at the door…… “
SO many things are wrong with this event! I can barely contain my anger at the parents for raising such safety-ignorant children!
1. Frolicking about outside with no parental supervision in a new town, new neighborhood, and according to the blog author, none in the family had met any of the neighbors yet – they had just moved in that day!
2. Playing around the back door of a stranger’s home.
3. Speaking to a stranger through his back door where no one else can see them.
4. Asking to come into a stranger’s home.
5. Adding to #4 would be that the parents still do not know where their children are and would not know if they went into a pedophile’s home.
6. Asking personal questions of a stranger, familiarizing themselves with him and allowing him to do the same.
7. I have to add this since it was in the part of his blog I did not post here: The girls’ father had previously told the man – a stranger he had JUST met an hour or so before – the girls’ names, ages, and interests.
The innocent curiosity of a child is a beautiful thing. Kids should be adventurous, inquisitive, playful. No one wants to take any of that away from children. Kids should be kids for as long as possible.
Unfortunately, in the real world these qualities make kids easy targets for those watching and waiting for kids just like them.
We don’t have to let the perverts take away our children’s childhood in even this way by forcing our kids to be distant, keep them in a plastic bubble, make them afraid of everyone and everything that goes bump. We can allow kids to be kids without doing so from a neglectful distance.
My own child is just as curious, just as adventurous, just as inquisitive and honest and talkative. There is a difference, however. She knows not to speak to strangers outside of my presence and then only if I deem the person safe. I am not ignorant to the possibility she could disobey me, even just once when once is all it takes. Therefore, I keep vigilance over her. I watch her. I know where she is at all times when she is in my care, and I do not leave her in the care of anyone who will not watch her the same. She is never to be outside without me. That is non-negotiable and never okay.
After we have established boundaries for our children, spoken with them on a mature level regarding the dangers in the world and why some things are off limits, we can let them be children. Kids like the ones in this story, however, have obviously never been taught any kind of precaution what-so-ever. Even the parents are dangerously naive about child safety.
This story is not new. It happens every day. It shocked me so much because I’d never had a case like this actually written out before me and in such a way I was able to mentally make a list of every little thing a pedophile could have used to harm those children. I could clearly see the alternate version had this man been a child molester/rapist.
This is the kind of careless, thoughtless attitude of parents in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, when child abuse was still a mark of shame for victims who were made to feel it was their fault. There is no excuse for parents to behave this way in 2008, when all the warnings and stories are out for the world to see on a daily basis and children are assured it is NEVER their fault.
It’s sick and disturbing and I urge anyone who knows of parents like these to please have a word with them about this dangerous situation they are creating for their children. I can honestly say that if I were to have a discussion with a parent who ignored me and allowed their child to behave this way again, I would call the police and report them for child endangerment.
This author was not a pedophile but they are out there and they are watching and these girls as children like them are the perfect prey.
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