About the 13-year-old girl who was nearly kidnapped in Florida at a Dollar General store.
Why do I care?
The event was so brazen, it may make you reconsider allowing your child to wander in parts of a store on their own. The would-be kidnapper attempted to take the girl while she shopped with her mother steps away.
Tell me more.
On Tuesday, a mom faced her worst nightmare – the potential abduction of her daughter. The would-be kidnapper, 30-year-old Craig Bonello, is seen on survellince noticing the girl and then grabbing her, attempting to drag her out of the store. Her mom quickly realized what was happening and fought with the assailant over her daughter, tug-of-war style. The disturbing attempt was all caught on video. Eventually, you see Bonello giving up the fight and running out of the store. Thankfully, there is a happy ending because Bonello just so happened to encounter an off duty cop on his way out, who was able to stop him from escaping and ensure his arrest.
We don’t know about you, but we’ll be getting one of those backpack leashes for our teens now.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
How do we keep our kids safe from strangers? The truth is, we can’t keep them in our sights every minute of the day. However, by teaching them about ‘tricky’ people instead of going with the ‘stranger danger’ approach, you can ensure a better chance at safety. The most recent abduction attempt in Florida is rare, most abduction attempts happen as a result of ‘tricky strangers’ appealing to a child’s need to help others.
Using their knowledge of ‘tricky people’, two boys avoided a potential abduction outside of an ER. Three adults approached one mom’s 8 and 10-year-old sons and asked for their ‘help’ by going into a bathroom to convince their friend to come out for treatment. Because the boys had been briefed on ‘tricky’ people, and the fact that adults never ask kids for help, the boys knew something wasn’t right. They stood their ground and simply said ‘no, thank you’ until their safe adult arrived.
According to Safely Ever After, we should stop telling our kids not to ‘talk to strangers’ because they may need to enlist the help of a stranger one day. Instead, we should be teaching them about ‘tricky’ strangers. They offer up the ‘ten rules of safety’ to teach your kids. They included:
- I am the boss of my own body.
- Safe adults never ask kids for help – they go to other adults.
- I don’t have to be polite if someone makes me feel unsafe or scared. It’s ok to say no, even to a grown-up.
- If I get lost in a public place, stop and yell for my parent, or go to another mom with kids for help.
- I will always listen to my inner voice, especially when it has an ‘uh-oh’ feeling.
Hack it Up in Summer
Early mornings in summer are a travesty. So, what’s a parent to do when they have early risers in the house?
Create a DIY breakfast station that the kids can independently access, of course. This will look different depending on the ages and stages of your kids and what they like to eat, but it’s a brilliant plan nonetheless.
Check out this All-in-One station – It offers jars of cereal with scoops, a toaster with bread and peanut butter at their height, and bowls with spoons. This station offers your kids the chance to make breakfast on their own if they choose to get up at the crack of dawn. Include access to milk via a spigget style container in your fridge and you’re golden.
Also, consider creating a snack station for good measure and a tutorial for the remote. Your summer sanity depends on it.
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
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