It was a normal shopping trip with four little ones in tow. After
picking up some toothpaste I headed for the toilet paper. After skimming the Charmin row, I realized my oldest was missing. Back track, quick!!
This wasn’t the only time I misplaced a child, but with rumors of
abductions increasing around Halloween, I didn’t mess around. When I couldn’t find my beauty by the toothpaste, I headed right for the front of the store. There was no way I was going to let someone sneak my six year old out of that store!
Thankfully the staff moved quickly too. An urgent coded message
was given throughout the store. Then they announced my daughter’s name and told her to come to the front of the store.
After a few desperately cried out prayers, an elderly woman walked up to me with my daughter by her side. Thank you to her, thank you to God and thank you to the store. What a relief to have all my little ones with me again.
Once the emotional reunion was over, my daughter said, “I did
what you told me and that Grandma helped me.”
Oh, how thankful I was that we had talked through what to do if
separated from our family. We had talked through and role played this scenario. We told our children to look for an employee, a mother with children or a grandma looking women to ask for help. We had told them to go up to one of these three and say, “I can’t find my family, will you help me please?”
There is no need to fill the practice with fear. We know that at
times parents and children lose track of each other and we wanted our children to know what to do.
We did cover abduction too. We told our children that if anyone ever tried to pick them up and take them somewhere to yell and kick with all they’ve got. Without over fixating on the topic we even told them to scream, scream, scream if someone had a gun. That if they go with the person it is hard for us to find them, but if they scream chances are much higher that someone will intervene.