I think we can all relate to the feeling of wanting to move to a farm and keeping our precious babies safe and far from harms way. Tending to the animals, sipping on warm drinks, rocking in a rocking chair could sound like the perfect setting. Sure, there is an appeal to country living over raising little city slickers, but as a NYC girl, I might be a little too urban to make that a reality. Now that I have a big family myself, I do understand why people want to move away from the hustle and bustle.
Like most of us, I too love my children so profoundly that I want to protect them from the uncertainties of the world. Maybe its the media that scares me or too many hours of Nancy Grace. Either way, I do know that if I let fear take over and shelter my little ones, I would be preventing us from the most important thing… LIVING.
Here in San Diego, we found the perfect setting for our family. We are close enough to the city, that we can benefit from the cultural amenities right at our fingertips. Even though I am raising urban kids, we have found our little utopia that has a backyard, and a community where every home has two or more children. Because we are so close to the museums, the symphony, concert performances, I do try to pack our days in with some kind of city fun.
As a blogger, my job is centered around my children. They are 99% of the time my subjects. I enjoy covering fun events, and being the bridge that connects other families to the happenings in San Diego. Recently, I covered an outdoor concert where children and parents were plentiful. Everyone was dancing, enjoying the sounds of the music when the unexpected occurred.
Going The Distance To Protect Your Babies
My assistant pointed out an older man who was sneaking images of the kids. Not just mine, but innocent parents walking by. He had his phone at his waist and was zooming in and snapping images. To say it was disturbing would be an understatement. I never knew I would react in such an aggressive manner, but I did. When I saw him do it with my own eyes, I got chills. I put my supermom cape on, ran over to him, grabbed his phone and started screaming, "predator," Security came and I demanded they go through his phone and sure enough there were photos of my kids and everyone else's. There were also other children in his phone. They took him away.
What I Learned
I am the type of person that pretty much is the cheerleader of the human race. If someone falls, I pick them up. I celebrate everyone's accomplishments with friends and family included. We can't ignore that we do co-exist with people who have bad intentions. When I started screaming "predator," half of the parents in the crowd started coming toward me, wanting to take this creeper down. I have never seen a village of moms act as one like I did on this day. They too had their imaginary boxing gloves on ready to take this guy down. A few froze and some walked the other way. You never know how you will react to a situation until you are in the situation. In this case, most of us wanted the authorities to know what he was doing and protect our innocent children.
So many parents were high-fiving me and saying thanks for getting this guy. The community of parents that were there, also caught off guard, stepped up just like me to protect their babies. Even though we are exposed to all types of people in this world, "we are more alike my friends, than we are unalike," and the good always prevails.
Being Proactive- 5 Safety Tips About Stranger Danger
This was the perfect time to go over with my kids what they need to know when it comes to talking with strangers. Here are some of the topics I covered with them.
- Body Safety
No one is allowed to see your private parts or go near them
I asked my children if they know what a stranger is. I explained to them that a stranger is someone they don't know. It could be someone walking their dog or someone wanting to give them candy. A stranger might be nice, but they are still a stranger and under no circumstances are they to go with a stranger. If they ever needed help, the best person to get is me, their teacher, a store employee or the person who is looking after them.
- What to do if you get lost
I don't want my kids to panic if they get lost. It's bad enough that I am a nervous nelly. I want them to breathe and find someone who works at the place we are at. The best person they should look for would be security guards, store employees or law enforcement. I especially like pointing out these people to my younger ones so they too can identify them if ever needed.
- Public Bathrooms
For now, I still have my kids go into the bathroom with me. But when they are old enough and can't do that I will wait outside for them and I tell them to call for me if ever needed.
- Answering the door
This one still bothers me.. It's impossible to watch the children 24/7. I do have to take a shower. And I have had instances where I was showering and my kids answered the door opening our home to complete strangers. Since the incident, they now know to get mommy or daddy when someone is at the door. Under no circumstances are they allowed to open the door without a parent.
This experience affected me! You too can be proactive with your children by teaching the basics when it comes to safety. You can also find out if any sex offenders live in your zip code with Megan's Law. Click HERE! There is also an app with your phone making your search easier.
It's important to be aware, to look around, know where the exits are. We have to as citizens help one another. As we move through our years of being parents, we need to also help our kids master being safe. It takes a village to protect our children and at that scary moment so many fellow parents stepped in and really showed me what it means to be in a community. I would love to hear from you. Have you ever encountered a scary experience like this? Comment below..