As a parent from the moment your baby child is born your main desire is protecting your child. No matter how old they get this will forever be your job. How we each choose to do this will forever be debated by individuals with different opinions on the many dangers that threaten our children. Unfortunately, times have changed and the dangers in this generation are much more prevalent. No longer can a child ride a bike around their own neighborhood without the fear of the monsters that roam this world. Many individuals, young and old, will mock parents as “overprotective”, but God has given us the responsibility of precious little lives that could be taken in an instant.
How can social media be dangerous? Who are your kids chatting with online? What are they clicking on and sharing? It seems harmless enough to post the cute pictures of your children at school, church, or activities, but how public are these pictures? Maybe a friend of a friend sees that cute cover photo of your kids at church. What no one would normally notice is the church sign in the background. Now this person knows where your child goes to church, every Sunday. A google search tells this individual the address and times of service. This person now comes to your church and as your child is running to the playground after service like he does every Sunday evening …boom! Your child could be snatched away in an instance. Anything posted to the internet is forever.
Behind the Scenes
Leaving your children in professional activities or child-care obviously there are safety measures, right? Well of course, but having worked in such an environment I couldn’t leave my child at an activity or send them to a camp away from home without myself or a trusted friend accompanying them. How easy is it for someone to pick up your child from an activity? How does the teacher know that is grandma taking your child home? Are the individuals hooking up your kids to climb that rock wall certified to keep them safe? Do the child care workers care that your daughter has a peanut allergy? You never know what problems are being shoved under the rug while parents aren’t there.
In protecting your child often it is forgotten that the child needs to have the sense to be cautious as well. Child-like faith is precious, but sadly the innocence of our children could be dangerous. If a stranger asked your child to go with them would your child go? What if they offered candy or a puppy? What if the stranger said they were your friend? How would your child know? Preventative measures as simple as holding your child’s hand could save their life.
I’ve even heard stories of families using a “code word” so a child can safely determine if a stranger was sent by their parent to pick them up. 90% of child monsters are someone the child knows. Do your children know what is appropriate actions for others? Teaching your child to defend themselves is an important life skill. Whether to deter a bully on the playground or escape a threatening stranger.
Flash of Fear
As a young mom, I hear many opinions of what others believe is best for my child and often the precautions my husband and I have chosen are questioned, downplayed, or ridiculed. Here’s the reality, bad things happen.
I would rather be over-protective than live through the nightmares I have seen haunt other families. That flash of fear when you can’t find your child at your home, in a store, or even possibly in your arms is the moment your heart stops because those nightmares could happen to you. Though people scoff at your rules and safety measures, as time goes by those voices will fade so take the extra precautions. You are the parent. You will never regret protecting your child, but you might regret it if you don’t.