Ever have one of those moments as a parent where there is a split second (or maybe longer) where you truly DON”T know where your child is? Well I had one of those moments today! Nothing to worry about – just one of those moments when you go to pick up your child from school and they aren’t where they are supposed to be….And you feel that panic set in…
Well today – my 9 year old wasn’t in the Gym where the parents always pick up their kids. When I asked his teacher if she knew where he was – she didn’t know. Because he’s ALWAYS in the Gym when I come to get him. So she went into the bathrooms looking for him, while I stayed in the Gym (silently concerned). And she returned after a couple of minutes to let me know he had just forgotten his watch in the classroom and had run back to get it. Ahh…relief set in and I joked about it with his teacher and with my son.
But that sparked some questions in me. I thought to myself – would he know what to do if a stranger came up to him? What would he say? And how would he handle it? So on the drive home, this little incident initiated some good conversation between myself and my little buddy. I asked him what he would do. And he told me – and of course it wasn’t what I’d hoped for. But this isn’t a time to scold your kids, they don’t know if you don’t tell them or show them. So I gently said, well if this”insert scenario” or if that “insert another scenario” happened, then you should say this, or do that.
Whatever you feel comfortable with or works for your family – just give your kids different scenarios and find out how they would respond. Then tell them whether that’s the right way to handle it or there might be a better way to handle it. Because we can’t expect our kids to know instinctively how to handle situations like these – because our kids are instinctively good-natured and trusting. Now I’m not advocating being paranoid – but kids need direction on this topic here and there. Because for many families these kind of situations don’t always have a happy ending. And I want the peace of mind in knowing I’ve given my child the proper direction that could help him if this situation ever arose. (Of course I hope that never will)
So it turned out to be a nice little talk – didn’t last super long. But I know I “reached” him and he understood. And I do appreciate these teachable moments that come up as parents unexepectedly, we must always take advantage of those however they come to us and continue molding and guiding our little loved ones. <3