What if it Was Your Child?

Having children certainly changes your life.  More specifically, it changes the way you live your life.  At least it should.  When I got married I was already in a pursuit to let God change me.  I knew there were areas, and there still continues to be areas, that I God wanted me to change and ways He wanted me to grow.  I became more conscious of time, a little more organized, tried to manage my finances a bit vetter too.  And although getting married changed me greatly, it wasn’t until I had children that I really noticed the changes.

My mother in-law said to me recently that she is impressed with how much I have changed.  She  noticed that I see something that needs to be done, and instead of waiting till it really needs to be done, I get a move on and get ‘er done.  I appreciated to compliment, and appreciated the fact that she was watching even more. 

“So…what of it?  What’s the point here Al?  How does this have anything to do with Every Monday Matters?”

Glad you asked…

As I said, having children can really change you.  So, this week’s challenge, which is actually the challenge from 2 weeks ago, was to sign up to have AMBER alerts sent to you.  I chose to have them sent as a text to my cell phone.  I figure, it’s on all day every day as it is, so it’s probably the most reliable way to get an alert to me.  This challenge really struck home. 

“What if it was your child?”  Whoa!  What if it were my child?  It’s scary to even think about, but it is a reality. 

Since my mother in-law advised me that I was a “man of action”, I couldn’t be lax or forget about this challenge.  I signed up and will get text each time there is an AMBER alert in my area.  I have to tell you, I was really burdened by this challenge though.  I can’t seem to get it out of my head.  It’s not like a constant fear or anxiety that my children will be abducted.  It reminded me of how important it is to teach your chiildren these lessons, and also some of the things my parents did in preparing me and brother and sister for dealing with strangers.

I grew up in the era of Adam Walsh and McGruff the Crime Dog.  I remember learning about Adam, and how scary that was.  I also remember my mom getting me a set of books that taught a bunch of lessons on how to deal with strangers, and going over them with me to make sure I understood everything.  I remember one really cool thing that we implimented…the “code word.” 

Did you have one?  Well, it was a word or phrase that only me and my mom and dad would know, unless they gave it to somone.  The rule was that I would never leave with someone, stranger or not, that didn’t have this code word.  It was kind of cool.  Like I was some sort of kid spy, and knew that people were on my team if they had the code.

I think mine was the name of our first dog, “Pepper.”   It’s amazing the things you remember from so long ago, but it was a valuable lesson.  I remember my mom saying something like, “Even if your aunt comes to your school to pick you up.  Unless your dad or I tell you ahead of time, or she has the code word, you do not go with her.  No matter what!  Even if she says I was in a bad accident or something like that, you never go.”

Erica and I talked about this for a while last night, and decided that 3 1/2 years old is not too young to start these lessons.  Wyatt, our oldest, is a really out going boy, which could be dangerous.  I mean, I’m pretty confident that he wouldn’t just get in a strangers car, but hey you never know. 

So, she and I are formulating our plan, and we’ll probably enlist McGRuff to help us.   But I want my children prepared for the dangers in life.  I want them to know that there is so much beauty in life, but there is also danger.  I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

If you haven’t signed up for AMBER alerts…McGruff says to do it!  Besides, what if it was your child?

How are you making Monday’s matter?

Livin’ Out Loud,

Al

4 Responses to “What if it Was Your Child?”

  1. Heather Roberts Says:

    I’d love to hear more on how you guys approach this… because we also are in this phase to start teaching Ryan about strangers… just recently we were in a store and he just walked up and started talking to some man we didnt know. It was a scary thought…. I’ll also keep you posted. I love the code word idea…. I think Ryan would like it also.

  2. garret Says:

    If your kids can understand you, it’s a good time to reason with them about ‘strangers’. It’s really an extension of boundaries. If your child has trouble with boundaries, a fresh approach is good; be creative.

    Be careful not to scare the pants off them! God only knows what effect equating “people = danger” might have.

    It’s far more important that your child learns that you say what you mean and mean what you say. The trust from that alone will spare him great pain.

  3. dionne Says:

    just another lovely thought to “burden” you with… studies show that even 12 year olds will go off with “strangers” if the lure is good enough. You don’t ever stop talking about safety with kids, it’s ongoing. Defining “stranger” is important too; most abuse/abduction is amongst family or known friends… now you go have a nice day Al!

  4. Shari Says:

    Hey Al- you sold me! I signed me and Kevin up for Amber Alerts 🙂 I miss you and I can’t believe I haven’t held little Charlie yet.
    Let’s get together- we’ll come to you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: