105 Ways to Give a Book

Permission Granted

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.


fusenumber8 said...

And come back we shall. Excellent work!

brian said...


thank you so much for the 'Rules of getting lost.' I now know exactly what I am supposed to do, but I have a question.

As a single male [now 30] I still find that I get lost; after all malls are vary large scary places.

Not once has a helpful, well-meaning, cute woman come to help me find my way. What happened to all the Maids in Shining Armor? Where is my heroin? [sorry forget the e, that's heroine people]

still lost in a sea of 'Sales,'

ps. thanks

Reagan said...

Did a search for "aly and aj at the white house" and your blog came up. Anyway, thats awesome that you got to see em...still searching all over the net for pictures of them! If you happened to take any please email me. webmaster@untamedlassies.zzn.com . Thanks! Rock on -Reagan

Jen Robinson said...

I think that you have to stick to your mission, and that it's easy enough for other people to read selectively, to find the parts that they're interested in. I also think that there's more overlap than you think. I don't have any kids, but I was still interested to see your list of rules for lost children. People who love children's books are unlikely to have no interest whatsoever in the well-being of kids. And your old friends, well, they have in interest in the well-being of you, whatever that entails.

Have a great week!

web said...

Hey, all those topics work for me!

Those are good rules, especially the "don't wander, they won't leave without you" one. Unfortunately, I can't seem to convince my son that going to the next room without him isn't a major betrayal, so I'm not sure he'll buy it.

Daniel said...

Actually, I'm finding more overlap than I'd have imagined. I'm rather unlikely to have kids, at this point, but as a teacher--even at the high school level--I always find your insights on kidlit to be valuable. As far as the "mommy" entries? Well, let's just say that even fifteen year old students occasionally need somebody to be "dad." I don't need to have my own children--I have my students, and that fulfills every bit of paternal instinct I've ever had!