Posted September 09th, 2013
I recently read a story that is every parent's nightmare.
In Britain on a ITV News show called "Daybreak" an experiment was done to prove that our children trust strangers more than we want to think...and it terrorized me just reading about it. It horrified some and outraged others.
It's conclusion proved that the children can be easily lured away from their parents by strangers.
This investigation took 9 pairs of parents and their children (aged 5-11) and placed them in a carefully controlled park (yes, they closed it off, in simple wording).....
As the cameras started to roll, the parents stepped away "to take a call" and a Closed Protection Officer (pretending to be a stranger), attempted to lure the children out of the park.
Now, at this point I am getting chills down my spine and starting to feel nauseated...
Children trust whomever has charisma and a convincing story as in "Can you help me find my little girl?" or "Have you seen my dog anywhere around here? Can you help me find him?". Or worse yet, offering candy, often drugged.
During the investigation, in 7 out of 9 examples, the stranger was able to convince the child to follow him, within 2 minutes of their meeting.
After the survey, one of the mothers was shaken saying "I haven't slept in 2 weeks, I would never have imagined. It's been a whole rude awakening for me. Now I have eyes everywhere".
As I said before, many people criticised the show.....underlining the fact that most kids are harmed by people they or their parents know.
"Daybreak" concentrated on complete strangers.....
Among the hundreds of thousands of children who disappear in the United States, only 115 are taken by complete strangers.
"Daybreak" created 5 tips for parents:
Who's who....A stranger doesn't always look threatening. A recent survey found that children from 5-8 years old, thought "strangers" looked villainous or scary.
Don't go, say no...If your child is approached by a stranger, teach them to say 'no' to raise the alarm.
Plan ahead....Give your child your home, mobile and work numbers so they can reach you at all times and stress that they should never talk to, accept gifts or walk off with a stranger.
Time to teach...Teach your child stock phrases, for example if they are offered sweets by a stranger, tell them to say "No thank you. Please leave me alone".
Practice makes....You can practice scenarios with your children and have a conversation regularly about the danger of strangers.
I sure did!! Rebecca (now 19 years old), was so convinced by my words she didn't accept candy from "Santa Claus" while walking down a Mall with her Grandmother!!!! She told the poor soul "First of all, you aren't the 'real' Santa, because he is coming to our home this evening to brings our gifts (and he did!!)...and second of all, I don't take candy from strangers". She was 4 years old.....
Are you thinking what I am thinking?.
Here in Hong Kong this could likely happen, but it has. You have to be "experienced" kidnappers and study a perfect scheme to get the children away from their parents, drivers or nannies. Not an easy thing to do since children are watched like hawks here......and, we have video cameras everywhere ("Privacy", someone??!!) and as I have said before, on each block there are at least 2 Police Officers tracking down delinquents and the suspicious....
Let's just keep our eyes open and teach our precious ones that there is "more danger than meets the eye"....