A few days ago I was fortunate enough to go to a talk by Pattie Fitzgerald, founder of Safely Ever After, Inc. One interesting thing I learned right off the bat is that 90% of child abuse is not done by a stranger, so teaching your kids stranger danger doesn't really insure anything. One of the things Pattie advises is to teach your kids early so that these things will be ingrained in them from the beginning. Her Super Ten Play-it-Safe Rules are a good place to start. I tried to teach H the first rule, "I am the boss of my body!" He turned it into, "I am the boss of my mommy!" Needless to say, we're going to be working on that one.
I also learned something about Megan's Law. The sex offender is supposed to register their whereabouts on the website. Well, Pattie said while the website is a good start (print out the list in your neighborhood and make sure you don't knock on those houses on Halloween), basically it would be a mistake to rely on that because a lot of offenders move after their first registration or they register at an address they don't frequent (like their parents'). I wanted to see how true this was and checked out the California Megan's Law website. In my zipcode, every single offender listed had this on the bottom of the page, "THE REGISTRANT MAY HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY RELOCATED." So the best way to protect your kids is to educate them and take safety precautions. I really need to be better about safety.
I know there has been a lot out there about that woman who dragged her kid on a leash across the floor of the Verizon store. Maybe that kid did suffer rug burns because of it, but somehow I understand how it could have happened. Your kid doesn't cooperate and runs away in public places. You don't want him to run away into the arms of some pervert but you have to get errands done so having him on a leash appears to be the only solution. So your kid goes limp and refuses to move, and you're getting the run-around by the customer service people (and believe me, I have done my fair share of getting angry at the Verizon store). She lost it and dragged him across the floor. Parenting is so hard; you never know if what you're doing is right. You do the best you can and then you are put in jail for it. What will happen to that kid now? Will he think he can get away with bad behavior and remain undisciplined b/c society has said what his mother did was wrong?
This world is so depressing sometimes. I can only pray that God will protect my boys and help me to be a better mom.