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Patiod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:07 PM
Original message
Missing Boy Told To Avoid Strangers
http://radio.ksl.com/index.php?sid=213835&nid=19

Didn't instilling a terror of strangers kind of backfire in this case?

I was walking my parents' dog around the block last year, and this hysterical mother came running out of her house, and snatched up her toddler from the front yard, glaring at me. I hadn't stopped, acknowledged the child, or done anything but walk briskly on their sidewalk with a dachshund (we're not talking pit bull hysteria, here, either).

When I was a kid, I was told not to talk to or take rides from strangers, but I wasn't taught to be terrified of them.

I'm not a Mom, and I've asked my friends about the extraordinary degree of over-protectiveness children are subject to today - they aren't allowed to walk 2 blocks to school, not allowed to walk to baseball practice, not allowed outside of their yards, basically, without close adult supervision. My friends basically tell me "things have changed" since we were kids, and if you let a child out of your sight before he's 16, you're basically inviting someone to come snatch them. Are people over-reacting, or are things that bad?
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lectrobyte Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. Yes, it does seem like a foreign country now. It would have been
truly ironic if he had died of exposure while avoiding ATV riders etc. Whatever happened to common sense?
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teach1st Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
2. The kids in my last class were very afraid...
..of strangers by the end of the year. But from what I picked up, this came about from watching television more than from parents.
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paula777 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:11 PM
Response to Original message
3. Kidnapping has been going on a lot longer than weve been around
I think the media reporting kidnappings 24/7 has parents freaked out and way more protective.
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. yeah, but I'm not *this* paranoid
and one of the messages I try to give my 4 year old is that if you're in a scary situation it's okay to ask strangers for help. Despite what media coverage would imply, most adults can be trusted to help a child in distress.
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
4. It feels that way
In California a girl was snatched out of her bedroom and murdered. There are enough stories out there about predators taking children right out of their yards that it does instill a lot of fear.

Add to that playgrounds, parks, schools and anywhere else. People are afraid and I really can't blame them.

When the girl in Florida was taken and it was filmed on a security camera it scared the hell out of me. She looked so much like my 14 year old. I told her that if anyone ever tries to take her somewhere where to fight, scream, yell, kick or whatever it takes to get away. It didn't matter where she was at.

The fear is there and in many instances rightly so.

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Love Bug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:12 PM
Response to Original message
5. People are over-reacting
I'm 50 and I was told not to "take candy from strangers" so abductions went on at that time, too. I think the publicity child-abductions get have worked on our fears over time and now we don't want to let out kids out of our sight.
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MountainLaurel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 03:22 PM
Response to Reply #5
20. Especially since 95 percent
Of all kidnapings are by FAMILY MEMBERS. Just as the vast molestation cases involve a parent, a relative, or another trusted adult that the child has been told to respect.

It's not the weirdo down the street you need to be preoccupied with, it's the one down the hall in your house.
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:13 PM
Original message
The Culture of Fear
yes, people are over-reacting. americans are scared of their own shadows. they think child molestation is rampant, and its not. but i get the stink eye if i laugh at someone's toddler's antics, or say anything to help the mother distract them from their horrid public screeching.

and i'm not a monster, i just look like one!
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patricia92243 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
6. Rather safe than sorry. Avoid stranger like the plague. n/t
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Sanity Claws Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:15 PM
Response to Original message
8. I agree with you
I had a similar experience about three years ago. I saw a man (I assume the father) with a little boy with a cute knapsack (I think it had bunny ears) on an escalator right in front of me at the airport. I said to the little boy, "That's a great knapsack. It's beautiful." (something like that). He refused to respond to me. The father had him walk up the stairs away from me. I was horrified. This is not only paranoid behavior, it is rude. How can community and civility exist with this type of behavior?

BTW, I assure you that I do not look frightening. I am a petite middle-aged woman and considered well-groomed.
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Midlodemocrat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:17 PM
Response to Original message
9. Frankly, teaching children to avoid strangers
is not helpful. Often, the predator is someone they know.

I encouraged my children to speak to strangers while I watched, like in the mall, or library. I have read that it helps them to develop their on 'instincts' on which to rely.

Interaction with other people is crucial to developing a fine tuned 'inner voice' which will scream at you to avoid a certain situation. Gavin DeBecker's books The Gift, and Protecting the Gift talk about how essential it is to listen to that inner voice.
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radwriter0555 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 03:08 PM
Response to Reply #9
17. That's what I've done too since the kid was little itty bitty; it's really
important for our kids to learn how to interact with people of all sorts. I've also taught her to think about the people she interacts with and to interpret and understand their various reactions and actions.
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bleedingheart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:19 PM
Response to Original message
10. I think it is media hype that has created hyper parents
when you look at the stats...the people that kids need to fear in the troubled cases are those closest to them.

Look at most of the sick cases of child abuse and murder...

it is either Mom, Dad, Mom's boyfriend, Dad's Girlfriend, the deranged cousin, the goofy neighbor or the parish priest/minister...all the people that we tell our kids to trust....

very rarely are children abducted or murdered by people who are complete strangers to them.

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Blue_In_AK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:23 PM
Response to Original message
11. Over-reacting.
I don't think things are much worse now than they've ever been, just much more sensationalized. I have a newspaper from Wilmington, Ohio, September 14, 1954 (it contains the article detailing the drunk-driving automobile accident that killed my mother). On the front page of that newspaper are two stories, "Schoolboy Kills Dad," a 12-year-old who shot his dad because "He was mean to me," and "Child Beater Held; Girl, 8, In Hospital." " A 33-year-old bachelor was captured last night after another man said he caught him brutally beating and molesting an 8-year-old girl in the basement of a hotel." This is in small-town, rural Ohio, 50 years ago, only two of the stories that appear prominently on the front page. Have things changed much? I don't think so.

Another interesting story "Ex-Congressman Shuns Questions" re a one-term Washington Democrat being questioned about whether he is or ever was a Communist. And at the very top "Senators Start Preparing Report on McCarthy's Conduct."

It's a very interesting time capsule, and just goes to show that the more things change, the more they stay the same.

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wakeme2008 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
12. Some parents are over-protective to the lost of common sense...
Edited on Wed Jun-22-05 02:38 PM by wakeme2008
This boy could have died over his fear...

Myself I had a problem with a 5 yo girl. This would have been mid 80s. Neighbors down two houses down from me were moving and I was "watching" their to girls 5 and 9. WITH THE 5 yo with me, I asked the father if I could take the girls and their 13 yo brother to an ice cream store. The father told the kids and me yes. All jump in my car and off to the ice cream store. Within a block the 5 yo was crying her head off, saying she could not ride with "strangers". So I turned around an took her home. Told her I would bring back ice cream for her. 13 yo boy/9 yo sister went to the store with me.


If a 5 yo is go afraid after her father told her it was OK, and with her 13 yo brother and 9 yo sister something tells me mental problems will come to it girl because of the over-protectiveness of her parents.

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readmylips Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
13. If Jesus appeared in flesh....
this country would be in a lot of trouble. Better yet, Jesus would be in a lot of trouble again. Home Land Security would pick Him up immediately.

Funny, how we are supposed to be more intelligent beings and worldly, yet we're dead afraid of each other.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:42 PM
Response to Original message
14. combination of both. an interesting thread
and what we create for our children. i have never embraced the teaching dont talk to a stranger. we talk to many strangers. it is not my childrens job to keep themselves safe. it is their trip to experience life. people are part of that experience, a big part. we talk to strangers everywhere. i didnt place fear in my children of strangers either. i watched and took kids of my children. i just did. what i chose. i had faith i could handle the job, and i did. now, they are older, we have talked about creeps in this world. like my youngest goes into boys bathroom only with older brother. i will let older brother go in by himself, but not youngest, has to be buddy. oldest can go outside without my supervision, but at 7 i dont want to give that to youngest, still buddy system. i have allowed them up the street to sell things, agains, always buddy system. but.....i cannot let them go a couple blocks to the park. cant trust it. i have to be there

there are also registered sex offenders in this neighborhood

it is a tough balancing act, keeping safe, yet not living in fear, or creating hysteria

this is why when someone says how easy being a kid is, today, i say, nope not even

so many adults give children the responsibility of their safety. it isnt the kids job. it is mine
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Patiod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 03:03 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. the buddy system seems a sensible solution
There's some strength in numbers. When my S.O. was a Boy Scout some 30 years ago, they had to rescue one the boys in the troop who had been separated out for "special" treatment one of the asst scoutmaster. The kids basically went over to the tent and said "he's coming with us". (He says that back then, parents would not have believed them if they said that this guy was a pervert)

Note: S.O. was alter boy for years - not a single untoward thing happened with any priest (except some severe temper problems). Scoutmasters, on the other hand, were a problem.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 03:12 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. i had my oldest in christian school scout
after months i had to become a part because husband working too much. one meeting, the shift in talk, i walked out telling husband i wasnt comfortable with boy in this troop., i got to eeeewww, after conversation kept shifting to retarded stuff. like an old man leader sitting next to me, telling me older scouts will have a group of boys and have a girl or two come to function so boys can learn how to interact with girl. he said he sure couldhave used that when he was a teen boy. i was thinking wtf.......in teens and they havent learned to talk to females. sisters, mothers, classmates. just too weird.

also on time, in walmart, i felt a presence behind me, i turn and there is an old man, focused on 6 yr old niec e. eeery feeling. i eyed him, he mee, and he left without a word. i think you can feel it. and i know my boys can feel if they arent comfortable with another. that is what i tell them to trust. never question. never hesitate. and dont worry about manners or hurting anothers feelings

but i also keep in mind the odds. they are not that great. most is with people we know, not strangers. no extreme
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maxsolomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-23-05 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. you sound like you think about it too much
and you're syntax is confusing as hell.
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Ron Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
15. Fear-mongering is the Way.
It's the way that our fascist masters keep us arrayed against each other. Rather than encouraging openness and trust, they teach people, through propaganda, to distrust and fear others. Increasing the fear opens many opportunities for marketing, whether it's unnecessary goods or harmful public policy.
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friesianrider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-22-05 03:13 PM
Response to Original message
19. What a psycho...
Things have gotten bad, but with that said, I think many people do way over-react as parents. And that's just nutty.
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