It's not what you are eating, it's what's eating you…

I’ve seen this video trend for the last 2 days and finally broke down and watched it, yesterday. There’s a ton of trigger warnings with this video, posted above.. But it’s value is priceless, in showing how young children (all this could apply to adults, too!!!) are vulnerable  or even if they aren’t and confident,  but think that they are invincible. And that nothing bad could happen to them.

It scared me to death, for multiple reasons, and I’m 45 and not much shocks me. I’ve already had the discussion with my tween, that someone will need to have her password, when she gets on social media. Whether it be me, my parents or 22 year old brother. Just like I had the same conversation about predators on and off the internet, with her brother about 15 years ago, I had that conversation a few weeks ago, with her.

Also note, You Tube putting to the right, um, of actual porn, I think is horribly inappropriate (at least that’s what I got when I clicked the link and I’m the only one using this computer and I don’t watch porn, personally) so use your own judgment on whether it’s appropriate or not to watch yourself and/or/how you share with your children.

While I think the video showcases, in the way it needs to be, of  how naive parents can be about their children’s ability to have the potential to be harmed by a predator, it could use some elaboration.

I remember over 20 years ago, of attending ECFE classes with my son. During one of the classes we watched a video that highlighted “stranger danger” (the kids were in a different room), and even then, of what children think when thinking of a dangerous stranger “looks like” and how easily they went with someone who didn’t “look scary”. This was focused on younger children.

However, 20 years later, we live in a society of Instagrams and Facebook. And with everyone having an opinion on whether someone is attractive or not. When someone not so conventionally attractive gets arrested, people reiterate that it’s their exterior that’s ugly and, of course, that person was a predator.

It’s a lot more shocking and it shouldn’t be, when someone is considered conventionally attractive and is accused of a violent crime. Especially, when it comes to pedophilia. And it shouldn’t be. I’m not saying that all attractive people are predatory because they aren’t. But vice versa, teaching people, especially children, that they assess a safety risk by a person’s exterior, is NOT something we should be doing.

It’s not something we should be doing regardless of gender and age. Of having children and adults assess, quite inaccurately, of who and what plays a risk in their safety. And WHY…..

The “Instagram Era” that we are now in, isn’t also helping that 12 year olds feel like they have to look like 20 year old super models, to be popular.

The thing is, that this video (which the man who’s responsible for making this video, said yesterday he’s making one that concentrates on boys) does a really good job of saying that predators, have the capacity to get to our children, fairly quickly. That you can’t think just because you’ve done everything right as a parent, and that if your tween or teen has confidence issues, or even if they don’t have confidence issues, that they won’t be a victim to a horrific crime.

Because they could be. In a matter of minutes. If not seconds. This isn’t just a teaching video of a worst case possible scenario. Real life tweens and teens have been violently, if not fatally harmed, from predators who used similar tactics.

So, I’m just elaborating on, if you are going to discuss of the WHAT is so important about this video, that you explain the WHY. And if you don’t understand the why, hopefully the above 5-6  paragraphs, that any parent  shouldn’t have too much confidence (this time you’ll just have to respect the source) as a parent or in your children, not to just check in regularly with them, in all matters that compromise their safety, in the digital era, in a non judgmental setting for them to talk with you, that is comfortable for THEM. And allow your children, IF for some reason, you can’t be that safe person to tell them things, that effect their safety, that you give them an option,of safe adults with respect to their privacy, of who to tell.

I’m normally the last person on the planet,  to give parenting advice.

But in a matter of life or death, or potential violent harm to a child, I haven’t heard anyone talking about the video, of  saying anything more than just “share” the video. Sharing it, isn’t enough. Understanding how for children, for various reasons, a predator can get to a tween or teen IS what’s important. And what they need to do to protect themselves from happening, is of utmost importance.

Note: All comments that are respectful will be published. I’m also a not a  clinically trained professional when it comes to matters of psychiatry, psychology and public safety. Any comments that will elaborate on, the importance of this video or the insights that I made, is most definitely welcomed.  Thanks!!!!

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