No doubt, parenting is tricky. Parenting information changes all the time plus everyone feels compelled to give their personal, often contradicting, opinions. Unfortunately, even some of the basic “rules” of parenting can’t be trusted. Here we discuss four such myths that can make life or death differences.
MYTH #1: I am a careful, watchful parent and my kids are well behaved so they will never get lost.
It happens to virtually everyone: 7 out of 10 children will experience being lost at least once in their lives1. 90% of families will be impacted and the traumatic memories of these incidents will forever remain in the minds of both the parent and child1. We teach our children to be curious and independent but then we scold then for getting accidentally lost. Therefore, it is actually good parents that realize this is a common online chat with strangers situation. They proactively teach their children that getting lost can be dangerous and they all know what to if it happens. While most incidents result in safe returns, both children and adults often retain traumatic memories for the rest of their lives.
MYTH #2: Don’t talk to strangers.
When a child gets lost, he/she may be too scared, too young, or simply unable to communicate to assist an adult that is trying to help find the child’s caregiver. One of the best safety practices is to tell your child to find another mommy if he/she gets lost. There is an important difference in empowering your child to ask a stranger for help versus having a stranger approach your child unsolicited. Mommies are easy to identify and find in most family venues - plus mommies are usually eager to help (and least likely to harm) a distressed child.