growinguplast:

I came across this article last week and, I’ll be honest, it was a difficult read. I know I am not the first or last child to have ever been molested so it was very hard to read the words “there is no such thing as ‘bad guys.’ There are good people who make bad choices.” But the article, written by a woman who discovers that her own brother is a sex offender, brings up a point I think it’s important for parents to acknowledge:

The strangers we should fear are people we already know.

It’s estimated that  73% of rapes are committed by someone the victim is familiar with—NOT a stranger. The number rises to nearly 95% when we talk about children under 18. The typical perpetrator is someone in whom we have placed our implicit trust with regards to the care and supervision of our child—giving our child no reason to suspect anything might be amiss or unusual in this person’s conduct. Teachers, youth group leaders, babysitters and child care providers, coaches, and neighbors can all fall under this umbrella. How many times have you seen a grieving parent on the news say,”they seemed so normal?”

There’s a great tip sheet out there to help you start confronting the uncomfortable truth about who might be dangerous in your own circle of acquaintances but here are a few tips that I thought were especially good and might have prevented at least one of my own perpetrators (a female babysitter) from victimizing me:

  • Listen to your children. Pay attention if they tell you they don’t want to be with someone or go somewhere.
  • Notice when someone shows one or all of your children a great deal of attention or begins giving them gifts.
  • Teach your children they have the right to say NO to any touch or actions by others that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable, or confused. Teach them to immediately tell you if this happens. Make sure they know that they will NOT be in trouble for telling you about their feelings.
  • Be involved in your children’s activities. As an active participant, you’ll have a better opportunity to 
  • observe how the adults in charge interact with your children. Drop in on activities, classes, and babysitters unexpectedly to observe interactions for yourself.
  • Use the sex offender registry to help screen your neighborhood and potential contacts with your child. Often churches, scout groups, and rec leagues don’t conduct background checks and this is a quick way to double-check anyone that your child may be spending time with or who makes you feel uncomfortable.

I don’t want parents to feel scared, I want you to be smart. This list wouldn’t have prevented all that I endured in my own childhood but it definitely is on my mind as I raise my own son. Keeping him safe is an aspect of my job as his mom that I take very seriously.

~Marci aka Mamamusement

Want to talk to your kid about stranger danger? The Learning Community has resources and links for a variety of ages (and topics). The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children also has many great safety resources for parents and educators that I highly recommend. Further if you or someone you care about is or has been the victim of sexual abuse, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) is an excellent place to start the journey to healing.

This week we’re talking about keeping our kids safe. Please feel free to contribute your thoughts and stories by tagging #gulsafe or submitting them here. 

The strangers we should fear are people we already know.

growinguplast:

The other week on my walk into work a car sped by, window down, and some words were sent in my direction. I did not hear them clearly enough to make anything out specifically, but I did not need to, the tone and tactics were enough for me to know exactly what they meant - and most probably exactly…

growinguplast:

Last week I was at the playground across from my house with Cormac, Archer, and some neighborhood kids. There was a football practice going on so there were more children at the playground than usual, most without direct supervision since their parents were watching their siblings play football. I…

growinguplast:

This is a tough video to watch. It’s started at :23 seconds because the beginning is a little graphic. I saw this video awhile ago and it’s always stuck with me. How easy is it to assume our kid is right next to us in the grocery store, or how confident are we that they are playing just out of sight at the busy playground while we’re distracted by a phone call or scrolling through our phone. This is totally as scare tactic video, but it’s still a good reminder as to how fast our lives can change. 

Today’s topics are Stranger Danger and Self Defense.  

  • Have you talked to your kids about strangers? What did the conversation look like at different ages?
  • Would your child know what to do if a stranger approached?
  • Have you taken self defense classes? Do you use self defense gadgets (pepper spray, etc.)? Do you feel confident about defending yourself and your kids?
  • Have your kids taken any self defense classes? (stay tuned later today for a great series for kid self defense).

These are tough topics, but so important to cover. Please contribute your thoughts and stories by tagging #gulsafe or submit here.  

- Kellie themamalogues

(Source: sandandglass, via wilwheaton)

growinguplast:

Great advice at any age! I’ve said this to my toddler son - that if he’s lost or scared to look for police officers, fire fighters, teachers, mommies with children. That those people are helpers. 
Even with all the media terror about kidnappings and evildoers, the odds are that if my son was in an emergency, he’d be more apt to find someone with kindness in their heart than darkness. This quote speaks to that - there are helpers everywhere if we are taught where to look. 
- Kellie aka themamalogues

growinguplast:

Great advice at any age! I’ve said this to my toddler son - that if he’s lost or scared to look for police officers, fire fighters, teachers, mommies with children. That those people are helpers. 

Even with all the media terror about kidnappings and evildoers, the odds are that if my son was in an emergency, he’d be more apt to find someone with kindness in their heart than darkness. This quote speaks to that - there are helpers everywhere if we are taught where to look. 

- Kellie aka themamalogues

hulu:

PAM. Coming soon to the theaters in our dreams. 

growinguplast:

Sadly, rewatching this 1980’s Shriner’s PSA is as far as I’ve gone towards talking to my toddler about anything fire safety related. I might just make him watch this repeatedly - it seemed to work for me. 

This week we’re talking all sorts of safety!

Today: Fire Safety & Identifying Helpers

Tuesday: Stranger Danger & Self Defense

Wednesday:Talking to Kids about Big Scary Stuff

Thursday: Childproofing

Friday: Safe Bodies - Conversations with kids about owning their bodies

Saturday & Sunday: ID Kits, Know Your Info & more!

If you would like to join in the conversation, you can submit to us by clicking here, or use the tag for this week #gulsafe. 

- Kellie themamalogues

Check out growinguplast this week for lots of info and opinions on a wide spectrum of safety issues. 

PS. I still say “that’s a no-no, too, Daffy”. 

Apple crisp

Who’s got a good recipe I could feature this week for Tasty Tuesday on growinguplast? I’ve got a hella lotta apples just waiting for crispification.

Insomniacs should take Estrace.