Took the weekend off blogging to contemplate life and the universe. The Daniel Morcombe trial hit me hard last week (like many parents I guess) and I couldn’t stop thinking about beautiful little Daniel and how his life was taken far too early. It led me to think about safety of our children and how we protect them from monsters who prey on young kids.
I’m a big believer in not wrapping kids in cotton wool. Let them fall, give them independence and teach them how to live in the real world with real situations. It’s not a long time between toddlerhood and childhood and this is when we see them go from babies to children. Children need boundaries but they also need to know how to stand on their own two feet, use the self serve thingy at Coles, buy bread and get change, go to the toilet without Mum standing right at the door and how to do their own shoelaces up.
Amidst the shock and discomfort of the trial and details that followed, I read a fascinating article on Mamamia where Daniel’s parents had outlined their tips on how we teach our kids to be safe and independent at the same time:
1. When you can, stay with a friend. Even if you have a fight with your mate, don’t go off alone.
2. Be observant. Notice who’s around you and what they’re doing.
3. Have a family password. Something like your favourite food – lasagne, for example. If a person says they are meant to pick you up, test them on the password.
4. With your parents, make a list of 5 adults you trust. If you ever feel uneasy about anybody or anything, tell one of these people and know you won’t get into trouble. If you feel you’re not being listened to, try someone else.
5. Don’t share information about yourself, like your hobbies or the name of your school with people you don’t know, online or in real life.
Genius stuff and simple too. I spoke to the cherubs about it today and they very maturely gave me their plans if someone tried to take them away. PHEW.
Just when I thought I had the kids and strangers sorted. I heard about some minor trouble on our school bus. Miss 6 was told by an older kid on the bus whom she has befriended (amongst the other 12 kids on the bus that she’s also befriended) that if they were going to sit together she wasn’t allowed to talk to any of her other friends and that included her new bus buddy who is only 7 years oldl. WTF? Was this bullying? Well that would be harsh but let’s just call it manipulation by a kid old enough to know better. I’ve never been a fan of this kid as she seems to create trouble wherever she goes but she’s always been kind to Miss 6 and therefore I’m cautiously waiting to pounce like a Lioness if she oversteps the mark. Miss 6 proudly told the older friend (who clearly doesn’t realise who she is dealing with) “My Dad said I’m allowed to talk to any friend I want and you can’t tell me who to talk to”
ROCK THAT CONFIDENCE GIRL! No one is going to bully my baby! Must secretly find out when Miss 6 and The Big Guy had a secret chat about friendships and why I had NO IDEA THIS CONVERSATION EVEN HAPPENED!
Now need to convince Mr 3 that not taking lollies from strangers includes not eating random lollies you find on the floor……..