Among my small (so very small) group of blog fans are my friends, other parents, and children’s literature buffs. And I feel I am letting them all down. My old friends drift off when I talk about my favorite picture books, my kids’ lit peeps glaze over during my mommy stories, and my parent pals lose interest when I rave about a new adult book. But I want to share kids’ lit, adult books, and funny stories. It is my mission, such as it were.
However, you may, if you so desire, read only the entries that interest you. Permission granted.
Today, for my next entry in the child abuse prevention series, I address the issue of lost children. If you are not a parent, you will be tempted to take my newly given permission and take off for funnier pastures. But if you stick around, maybe something will sink in and save your child’s life in days to come. But, y’know, if you want to blog-hop, go ahead.
Children lost in a public place are vulnerable, and parents can take some prevention steps before it happens and it will happen and other people can reinforce the concepts.
Ever since my children were old enough to comprehend at some level, I started going over the rules for getting separated from me or their dad. We would go over the rules before we entered a store or a large public place. They can now, at seven and ten years old, recite these rules in their sleep. Rule One: Stay put and mom/dad will find you. DON’T wander around. Rule Two: Look around you for an employee or a mom or a grandmom who could help. Rule Three: DON’T leave the store. Mom/Dad would never leave without you. Rule Four: Know your mom/dad’s name and your phone number for emergencies.
When I help a lost child at the library, or at the store for that matter, I always go over these rules with the child I found. I might say, “Hi. I work here at the library (or I am a mommy). Did you lose your mom or dad? Yes? Do you know your mom/dad’s name so we can call for them? Good. Let’s wait here for your mom, because she certainly didn’t leave without you.” And when the mom/dad shows up, usually embarrassed or apologetic, I go over with the mom/dad in front of the child what the child did right. “Well, she did a great job. She knew not to leave the library, and she found someone who works here to help her.” In that way, I’ve helped the child and maybe the parent to learn from the experience so they’ll know better next time.
If I have helped any of you friends, parents, librarians, I am glad. Keep coming back. I do appreciate your support, even if I am not always writing about your area of interest.