July 27, 2003
This weekend Kelly asked what a pedophile is, after overhearing the word on the news. Jean explained it, and we both chimed in with "this is one reason why we don't want you to take rides, candy and what not from strangers." I'm afraid we sorta rode that horse into the ground, but as Jean explained, "we repeat this sort of thing not because it's all that likely to happen, but so you'll remember the right things to do in the rare event that it does happen." (By the way, that's me channeling for Jean -- she doesn't really talk that way).
Then I went off on the tangent about training for disaster (you learn CPR by repetition so you don't have to think about it when you need it; you practice what to do if your clothes catch fire [stop, drop and roll] because when it happens to you, you'll likely be panicked and unable to reason, so you want your reflexes to be right). Then, since I was worried that all this talk about sinister strangers would give Kelly nightmares, which are rarely productive, I threw in a curve:
"If you don't practice your emergency instructions enough, you might get them mixed up, too. So when a stranger drives up and offers you a ride, you'll panic, search your brain frantically for the right response, and shout 'Stop, drop and roll!'" I illustrated with a little roll across the carpet.
Kelly started cracking up, and added, "then you could roll away from the bad guy!"
Am I a bad man for not wanting my daughter to have nightmares? I doubt it, but I don't have emergency instructions for this sort of thing.
Posted by dpwakefield at July 27, 2003 10:17 PM
My heart breaks for every parent who has to convey to a child that the world is not always a safe and happy place.
And I have an uncharacteristically loathing-filled place in that same heart for people who exploit and abuse children.
Posted by: Pascale Soleil at July 28, 2003 12:43 PM
Thanks for the sympathy. As for the exploiters, it's usually a mental illness, but that neither excuses them nor disposes me to let them run free.
I've heard of child molesters receiving treatment, being declared cured and released, then doing it again. I'd hope the doctors would be extra cautious since this seems to have happened more than once. And once is too many times.
Posted by: Don Wakefield at July 29, 2003 09:30 PM