If you’ve ever seen the comedy television show, “Psych,” you know the main character’s father is a police officer who wants his son to be prepared for anything. He does some pretty crazy things in this comedy police show to teach young Shawn what to do when someone tries to harm him. It’s not about “if,” but “when.” In one episode, he tells him how to get help when he’s kidnapped and thrown into someone’s trunk. He tells him to kick the tail lights out, look through the hole to see if he can identify surroundings, and use his shirt or another piece of fabric as a flag to attract attention. As a kid, Shawn thinks his dad is a little crazy, but before the episode is over, he is glad his father taught him because it helps save his life.
I’ll have to admit that I’ve learned a thing or two from this show myself, and it just reinforces my belief that parents should always be teaching their children.
Here’s a great example. Two little girls were saved from being kidnapped in Houston recently because their mothers had taught them what to do if they were approached by a stranger. One little girl was taking the trash to a dumpster when she was approached by a man asking for directions. He motioned for her to come close to her car, but she refused and ran the other way. Another little girl in the same apartment complex was walking to the bus stop when the same man approached her. Fortunately, her mother had coached her, too, on what to do if a stranger approached. The statement made on the news was this: The story could have had a much different ending if these little girls had not been taught by their mothers.
Don’t wait to have a weekly coaching session. Make everything a teaching moment. As you see things happening for yourself, or watch it on the news, use that opportunity to ask your kids, “What will you do when …”
Joyce Moseley Pierce