I never had a great relationship with my mother growing up (and it’s non existent now) and never want my daughter to feel like she can’t talk to me about anything, or ask me about anything that pops into her beautiful head, particularly important i believe as I’m raising her on my own.
With that in mind I made the decision to be upfront and honest with her, even from a young age (she’ll be 4 this August). Of course there are some things I’d never discuss with her, and I’m sure that even some parents who disagree with my methods would be facing the same dilemma I’m now fronted with……I’m referring to the topic “STRANGER DANGER.”
One would hope that all parents take a proactive role in teaching their children about the possible threats that are in the big bad world…the bad men (and ladies Mum!!) who could be anywhere and that “You must never run off from Mum, you must stay by my side and where I can see you” etc etc
This has lead to questions about ‘what do bad men do?’ I haven’t been graphic about anything, but along with stories on the news of shootings etc, my daughter now asks constantly about how I’m going to die and that bad men are going to take her and that i will need to shoot them with a gun…..and gets visibly upset asking who will look after her if the bad men kill me, and then everyone else; it’s just HORRIBLE :'(
I can see her little mind ticking away whenever I answer her or talk about only going anywhere with Mum…..or (and this is the tricky part) Poppy or her Aunties or Uncles….and here’s why (anyone who is an Islander or KNOWS an Islander will be familiar with this stage of my dilemma)….
I am the 2nd eldest of 7, my dad is one of 12, and my mother one of 9….so you can imagine the size of my extended family with cousins etc. In our Culture, out of respect, we call our elders Aunty, even if they’re not blood related, and my daughter calls my close friends Aunty……so you can imagine there are a lot of people for my daughter to process.
Now as we are all too aware, many times when a child is abducted or hurt, it is by someone they know, or is known to the family…….so how do we teach our children that it isn’t only strangers who can be ‘bad men’ (or ladies) and that they need to be wary, of everyone really, in a way that’s not going to scare them off humanity and have trust issues?!?
Posted by dilemmalina, 21st May 2013