Folks! In response to the blog post below this one — the one about the kid getting lost on her way home and miraculously NOT being abducted — a reader named Davonia wrote this note. It’s so helpful and straightforward. Voila:
THE “WHAT IF?” GAME!
The best way I can think of to counter this is to play the what-if game with your children. We do this all the time at dinner.
What if you miss the bus in the morning: what do you do? Walk back to the house, use key and call Mom or Dad.
What if you miss the bus in the afternoon? (Return to school; call Mom or Dad. If school is closed, walk to library or Walgreens; call Mom or Dad. Walk to friends’ house close to school; call Mom or Dad)
What if you are hungry on Sat morning before Mom and Dad get up? (make toast w/ jelly or eat fruit)
What if you get lost; what do you do? (Ask a store cashier to call mom’s cell # which is on a piece of paper in backpack)
What if you forget your key; what do you do? (Open front door and sit on steps; wait for parents to get home- usually 20 mins) If it gets dark, go to a neighbor’s house and explain; call Mom or Dad)
What if (god-forbid) someone tries to put you in their car and abduct you? (Scream “You’re not my parent” and “Don’t abduct me”. Run to nearest house in the opposite direction that the car is facing- so they would have to turn it around- and knock on the door. Explain to neighbor what is happening. Ask to call Mom or Dad)
Thanks for this, Davonia! A little preparation goes a long way toward making kids confident, independent and Free-Range. (Because, contrary to popular belief, we don’t just throw them outside and hope that somehow, someday they come back.) — Lenore