Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
An incident happens....media sensationalizes it.....even the sanest parents get into a panic mode. With the advent of social media, situations have just gotten worse. Suddenly everyone looks like a predator. We do not want to allow our kids to go to school without a GPS system taped to them. We want all males to steer clear of kids...particularly if we have a daughter. Swimming classes become scarier....we do not want kids to change outfits in school. And let's just banish all extra-curricular activities shall we?
Rewind to a few years ago......incidients did happen......we read it in the newspapers......we discussed it with our family. But our lives went on......why? because there was no social media, no candle light vigil for the affected child, no loud newscasters sensationalizing the news for TRPs. And yet, we let our kids go unaccompanied to sports practice, let them change to and from their swimsuits in the hope that they would be champions someday and bus driver uncles, cook uncles and security uncles were all ok to manage our child if we had to go out for a few minutes.
Now that everyone's in a panic mode, let's stop and think for a second......did you do a background check on all the staff employed by you..namely the cook, the maid, the gardner, the security, the driver . Even if you did, can you be 100% sure that they will never do anything illegal? While I want justice for every child (rich or poor) who has been traumatised for life, I do not want my kids to lose trust in every human being on this planet. Yes, our legal system has its flaws, yes we should work towards getting it fixed. But are we doing enough as parents to ensure the safety of our kids?
We take care of ourselves well during our pregnancy, and even during the early months/years of our child. So when do we let go? When do we stop talking to them? Do we know what happens in school everyday(besides the homework and competitions)? Do we ensure that kids do not go unaccompanied to their activities? Do we follow safety precautions at home? Do you know what your kids do on social media and who they are friends with? There are may dangerous situations that we put our kids in.. unknowingly and perhaps unwittingly. Incidents can happen anywhere....and the legal system may take years to be fixed. But what we can do is to BE parents......with rules at home. If we were cautious, then our minds wouldn't go too much out of control during a panic situation.
And last, but not least...do teach kids about things like not talking to strangers and being cautious......just as our parents did, but let's not talk about our larger than life panic attacks in front of them.