We had a very scary situation occur this afternoon at our house. I had sent my oldest son outside to retrieve our trash cans from the curb and my daughter had gone out to help as well. I followed them outside and was on the front porch when I saw a gentleman in a green pickup truck pull up along our curb. He must not have seen me on the porch because he started calling out to my son and motioning for my kids to get into his truck. As soon as I realized what was happening my heart started racing I called for the kids to come back up to the porch but my son had already recognized that this was dangerous situation and he was pulling his sister back up towards the house. I walked straight out to this guys truck and asked him what he was doing and he said he was just curious if our trash had already been picked up but he was stammering and wouldn’t make eye contact. He pulled very quickly away from the curb and took off at a good speed. I asked my son what the guy had said to him and he said that the guy had said “Hey boy, come here I have something to show you.” I am so glad that my son recognized the situation for what it was and pulled his sister to safety but I am having a hard time with how close my kids came to be grabbed. You want to maintain a safe environment for your kids without sheltering them too much but after a situation like this it just makes you realize that we live in a dangerous world.
Child abductions can happen to anyone, at anytime and even in your own yard. It is so important to go over with your kids how to respond in situations like this to reduce their risk of danger. My kids have been taught to not respond to the stranger but to move as quickly as possible towards safety. They know to stay together and if one of them is ever grabbed to fight with everything they have and to scream for help. We did notify the police immediately and we provided them with a description of the man as well as his truck.
If you haven’t yet talked to your kids about personal safety now is the time to do it. Make sure you have a plan outlined so that your kids know how to respond and how to stay safe.