Tuesday, January 27, 2009

STRANGER DANGER

A few weeks ago, Maggie apparently saw something on T.V. or talked about something in school that sparked an interest in discussing STRANGERS. We have been having some intense discussions lately about what to do when someone that the girls don't know approaches them and tries to talk to them or persuade them to get in a car with them.

This topic is a serious matter, and we have been treating it as such. We answer all their questions, as well as reiterate over and over and over again the importance of staying safe and never getting into a car with someone they don't know. We have talked at length about how they should kick and scream and bite and hit if someone tries to take them. We have told them repeatedly that they should run in the house and get us if someone tries to get them to come outside the fence - - and that they should never engage in a discussion with an adult they don't know. We have tried to drill in their heads that grown-ups don't ask kids for directions or to help find lost pets, and that we would never send someone they didn't know to pick them up if we were hurt.

All this talk though has caused the girls to spin these elaborate stranger-danger stories, and at the end of them, they always want to tell us how they feel it should be handled. At first, we started out like this:

"If a stranger tries to get me to get in the car when I am playing out in the yard, I should run in the house and get you, right? If they try to grab me, I should kick them and scream and get away, right?"

"Yes," we answer. "Very good."

However, as time has gone on, the stories are getting more elaborate and filled with detail. A few days ago in the car, we were once again beating stranger-danger to death and Maggie said, "If I was walking to Barb and Greg's house and someone pulled up to the sidewalk and tried to get me in the car, I would run away and come tell you guys. But if you weren't home, I would run to Barb and Greg's and tell them. And if they weren't home, I would go to Ellen's. If the stranger in the car told me his dog was lost, I wouldn't help him look for it. If he said that you guys were hurt and in the hospital, and then tried to grab me and put me in his car, I would scream and say, 'MY DADDY IS A POLICEMAN AND HE ISN'T HURT AND YOU CAN'T TAKE ME!!' And then I would kick him."

Hearing this prompted Aleita to ask, "Who can I go with in a car?" We told her that if we ever needed someone to get her, we would send someone she knew well and trusted.

Aleita: "Like Grandma?"
Me: "Yes."
Aleita: "Or Barbie?"
Me: "Yes."

Aleita: "Or Aunt Stacie?"
Me: "Yes."

Aleita: "Or Rev. Ellen?"
Me: "Yes."

Aleita: "Or Diana?"
Me: "Yes."

Aleita: "Or Jeremy?"
Me: "Yes. Wait....who?"
Aleita: "Jeremy....the Schwan man."
Me: deep sigh. "No, Aleita. We wouldn't send the Schwan man to come get you."

In a crisis, you have to know who to call, right? Friends....family.....your minister.....the Schwan man.


If he'd let me eat the ice cream, I might be tempted to go with him too . . .

7 comments:

lartdejournalier said...

The Schwan man!! I can't stop laughing!

papadale said...

Once, while picking up Kaylin at daycare, a marching line of 4 to 5 yr. olds came down the hall, this young man in the middle of the line stopped, looked up at me, and asked "Are you a STRANGER?", I said "Well, yes" to which the lad simply said "O.K.", and preceded on down the hall with his Legion of reinforcement. I'm glad I was going the other way, I'm pretty sure they could have and probably would have taken me!!

Teresa said...

Aleita cracks me up! Can't wait to share this one with Bryce tonight!

Jeff said...

I had to go to the bathroom and splash cold water on my face from laughing so hard . . . . . I love how Aleita´s mind works.
Does Jeremy ask for a drink of water every time he visits on his route?

Tova Darling said...

Hahaha!!! I just found your blog through Facebook, and this story cracked me up!!! In case of emergency, please notify the Schwan man.

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