A. I grew up as an only child with a single Latina mother (you have no idea what the word overprotective means until you meet her)
B. I grew up in New York City where I HAD to always be aware of my surroundings
C. I have watched WAY too many Dateline episodes and spent too much time watching the Discovery ID Channel
So let’s look at the facts, according to the FBI, in 2015 there were 460,699 NCIC entries for missing children. Similarly, in 2014, the total number of missing children entries into NCIC was 466,949*. That doesn’t sound so intense when there is approximately 324 million people in the United States as of 2016 ** But that is also easier to say because my children are safe at home with me.
There are soo many things we can be scared of as parents and for me, the “fear” I feel started when I found out I was pregnant. I started to google like crazy and read about everything I was allowed to do and NOT do. I already struggled with anxiety so the last thing I needed was to read every baby book I could get my hands on at Barnes and Noble and browse the internet until 11pm at night. It also didn’t help that I almost lost my baby in the beginning of the pregnancy and that I became unemployed soon after. Too much time on my hands?
Do I live in fear everyday, NO but I am very much a realist and recognize that the world is NOT a safe place and believe it is my job to keep my children safe at all costs. I am very honest with my daughter and while I don’t want to scare the living shit out of her I do keep it REAL. I tell her what could happen if she doesn’t listen to her Mami but at the same time I do not keep her in a locked cage. Just my backyard which is fenced and patrolled by our family pit bull all while being recorded on our security cameras/DVR and I watch her. LOL
I have taught her how to make a call from an Iphone, my cell phone number, what Mami and Daddy’s full and real names are, our home address and prepared her for how strangers may try to approach her. I want her to understand what can happen and be prepared. This stems throughout every aspect of her life. I have taught her how to swim, to respect the ocean but at the same time I don’t tell her that she is going to drown if she goes swimming. I want her to grow up mindful but also be willing to try new things. It is NOT easy but I am trying to keep it sane.
This is what works for me and my family. What works for you?
*The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children