Saturday, July 2, 2005
Keeping Kids Safe!!!
I swear that was the song on! And that is what this is about...keeping our kids alive! Some may see this merely as a rant & not get the message and those would probably be the one's I'm worried about the most! I'm outside and two little adorable girls come around as I am planting some new plants, weeding, feeding the birds & sprinkling. They both have purses & are looking in the grass. Yes, a 5 yr old is "watching" a 2 yr old! UGH!
The 5 yr old asked what I was doing, if I had kids & then if I had a husband. I laughed at that one! (Shaking head!) Then she asked if they could come into my house! I nearly died knowing what that "could have meant for them with the wrong person!" I said "no" and she asked why & I told her because you don't know me & I could be a bad person & you shouldn't ask people to go into their homes. I had this discussion 2 yrs ago with an 8 yr old boy who rang my doorbell once! UGH!
I then asked where is your mommy & daddy? Oh my daddy lives with his girlfriend in "G" and she pointed at their place. She then asked my name. I said I didn't want to give her my name. She asked why & I said because I don't know you. She replies, "Well, I like to meet people" I said that is nice in school, but not with peopole outside you do not know. She says, "Well my name is Jaclyn but you can call me Jacki." She tells me her dad is "a cop" and then says "well use to be". I said, "use to be?" She says, "ya his boss fired him!" I'm thinking hmmm...I might be able to see why but...still could be a grant gone etc never know.
In the meantime her sister Jordan has progressed away from her, heading down the next driveway & I have to call for her. Then she asks me a few more questions as I am planting in my hanging baskets & I say, "Where is your sister?" No where to be found! UGH! She says, "She is inside!" She has no way of knowing this! I then go looking for her. Turns up she is inside but there was no way she knew this because she was facing & talking to me! Very lucky!
I go inside (I'm on my deck) to go outside & get the hose to sprinkle. When I come out "daddy shows up!" I had a few choice words for him! Young, maybe 20s & thin & quiet. I just kept to the sprinkling & said, "you have a 5 yr old watching a 2 yr old?" "Oh ya" he says, "they are fine, they do it all the time" then adds "I don't get them all the time." I'm thinking ok, so you don't get them often, but when you do, you have them outside by themselves? I can see why you don't get them often! Hmmm, you'd think he would want to be outside playing with them or at least watching them play. You can be on a chair with a a drink enjoying the day. I said, "oh really...well I'm a psych prof & teach child development so you are not fooling me." He says "well there mom lets them do whatever they want." I said, "that is another story - I wouldn't want you watching my kids!" I said, "do you know they asked to come in my home? She told me you were a cop...then you should know how dangerous that could have been." He inquires about her telling me he was a cop & I told him how she told me he was fired. He is quiet. I said, "when the cops come to me asking about 2 missing girls, I'm going to tell them you had a 5 yr old watching a 2 yr old." I kept sprinkling & he quietly went in.
Ya, of course later I thought about him being an ex-cop but I was not pointing a finger, aggressive or anything, stayed on my side sprinkling etc. I just am so upset that "some" parents just give this opportunity for their children to be harmed! Some just think kids are capable to understand things way before they are able to. Who do you blame then? How will you live with that guilt? It is bad enough that literally you can turn your head when they are right next to you & it can happen, but to create such an incredible opportunity! And then to me an officer who of all people should know how dangerous it really is from knowing the inside stories of what has happened...man!
I remember I was teaching over 10 years ago at another school & a head officer from a task force on child pornography etc did a weekend conference. He told us that his partner found out that his own child was being abused at his daycare. He could not believe how it could happen to him...why didn't his child tell him. He said he told him, "You have to remember the child's point of view...you are dropping him off there & so he thinks you know & then it must be ok then." Children's perspectives are not like adults! Of course, some adults are not that great....like apparently the one I was talking to today!
BTW...this head officer told us at the conference also he had to go to court to open up the estate of Lewis Carrol, author of Alice & Wonderland. He proved what he suspected...Alice was his #1 child of his pornography collection! I never did like that particular video & now forget it!
I hope this just reminds everyone to really watch their children this weekend...they depend on us to keep them safe. These precious gifts from God have sooo much potential and it would be such a shame to be the cause of that potential not being realized! They only thing I can do is pray to God for these two little adorable girls & all the other children in the world who may be like them. No one is a perfect parent & I'm not trying to project a "holy than thou" attitude here by any means....it is a reminder for me as well, with my niece who will be 8 yrs old this coming week! I can turn this into a learning opportunity for her to ask questions etc.
Have a Safe Holiday Weekend!