By Dana Arevalo,
P.O.V. Contributing Writer
I am honestly quite scared with all of the recent abductions that have been flooding the headlines lately. Times have changed. Do you remember when your parents or grandparents said to you, “When I was younger”? Well here goes, when I was younger, I enjoyed freely riding around my local neighborhood at the age of 11, meeting kids at school and playing outside all day in the summer with no parental supervision. Today, I wouldn't dream of allowing my children to do this. If my daughter or son set foot outside, I am with them. At times they want to walk the dog; I allow them to, however, they are only allowed to walk up approximately six houses and not without adult supervision. I feel, nowadays, you just don't know who to trust.
One recent abduction comes to mind. My thoughts are well warranted, just think of the recent kidnapping of the mother and her three daughters in Tennessee. They were kidnapped by a family friend and ex-brother-in-law, Adam Mayes, who was helping the family move. Closely following the story, Mrs. Bain and her three daughters vanished along with Mayes overnight. Mr. Bain woke up to find his family missing. Tragically, the eldest daughter and Mrs. Bain were found dead on Mayes property in Mississippi. The FBI quickly became involved in the case and a large manhunt began in search of the remaining Bain sisters. Eventually Mayes made the FBI's top ten most wanted list and was found in the woods with the two Bain sisters who were alive. As the agents approached Mayes killed himself.
As scary as it may seem, be proactive and teach your children about strangers and, furthermore, about speaking out when they feel uncomfortable about something. Years ago, parents did not speak out about these topics. It was just a different time. What you teach them now will make them more aware of their surroundings and allow them to be prepared on what to do if they come across a situation. Some things that you can do are:
- Take them to a child's self-defense course. Many martial arts schools hold seminars about stranger danger geared specifically toward children. It is a serious issue and very important for them to learn.
- Any time that you go to a large public place such as a museum, amusement park, etc. chose a family meeting place in case someone gets lost.
- Teach them how to react and speak out if someone makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Discuss stories and headlines of child abductions with them. The purpose of this is not to scare them but is done so that they are aware of what is going on in today's world.