Years ago when I was in college and renting an apartment with two other girls, we were burglarized. A window had been left open when we all left for the day and the thief crawled in, stole what ever he could stuff in his pockets and fled. He took change, some jewelry and a lot of peace of mind. We all felt so violated. One simple thing would have prevented the theft and the bad feelings, we should have closed the window.
Isn’t that how it often is? One simple common sense act can prevent a lot of problems.
The burglary came to mind as I was listening to a news report about a missing toddler. Apparently the parents left the toddler alone while they went to dinner. I’m not sure why they would do this, but when they came home the toddler was gone. Common sense would dictate that parents not leave young children home alone, wouldn’t it?
Protecting your children against predators and other bad things in this world often boils down to simple common sense. For very young children, watch them, never leave them unattended or with someone you don’t know or can’t trust. Make sure they know not to talk to strangers, even if the stranger claims he has a puppy to show them. (Often predators lure children into cars promising puppies or candy)
For older kids, know their friends, know their hangouts, talk to your kids and their friends. You don’t need to be overly nosy, but you do need to be involved and aware.
When I worked as a juvenile detective it always amazed me that often when people called to report their child missing and we asked a standard question, ‘who are their friends?’ the parent could not answer, they couldn’t name a single friend.
Writing this I think, a lot of parents are saying, ‘duh’, that’s parenting 101. Well, obviously it’s not because there are parents who seem to have no common sense and hundreds of children are victimized every year. Children are more precious than trinkets a burglar can stuff into his pocket after climbing through a window. A lot of heartache and pain can be avoided with a little common sense.