A parent's worst nightmare: Child Abduction

This morning we read about a 10 year old girl in Missouri who was abducted and murdered.  This has got to be a parent's worst nightmare and our hearts are just breaking for this family.

READ THE FULL ARTICLE FROM USA Today 

According to the FBI this type of abduction is extremely rare. But who really cares about how rare it is if you are the one affected by this.  As a child I would run all over the neighborhood and as I approached the age of 10, 11, 12 my radius outside of my own backyard grew larger and larger.  The young girl abducted in Missouri was in her own neighborhood not far from her home.  The tragedy and pain are unfathomable.

According to the FBI page most child abductions happen from people who the children know.  We often tell our children not to talk to strangers but then we also teach them to be polite and respect their elders.  That message can be very confusing. Sometimes these messages get mixed up by little kids.

When we are pregnant we read all kinds of books about being healthy and raising healthy children. After our child is born we read books and blogs about child development.  In my opinion if every parent only read one book this is the one they should read:  Protecting the Gift

The first book I read by Gavin de Becker was the Gift of Fear (which I also HIGHLY recommend) everyone read especially young women.  It is all about trusting our instincts and keeping ourselves safe.  There are practical tips that we are rarely taught by our parents.  This book is not new but still holds up as excellent advice.

My teen has had several slumber parties and often times parents just drop of their kids or even have their kids find their own way to our house.  Recently, there was a mysterious death of a teenager in our county and the police are still investigating whether there was foul play involved or not.  Since that happened my daughter had a slumber party and all of the parents came to the door of our house with their daughters or called to check about the party.  I was happy that they did.  It was sad that it took a tragedy for parents to get more involved.  It is like telling your child to watch out after they have already tripped.

We can't keep our children safe from every danger but we can do better about teaching them strategies for keeping themselves safe when they are out of our sight.  

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