Keeping kids safe from the monsters among us

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In the 1950s, I walked to a neighborhood school, and it felt safe. I don’t think the world is more dangerous for children now or there are necessarily more monsters out there, but something has changed in our culture. We know more about child kidnappings and abuse because of 24/7 news coverage and the Internet. More parents are out at work all day and less hands-on with their kids’ activities. Children are more precocious, but it’s dangerous to interpret that as maturity.

It seems simplistic and perhaps old-fashioned, but there is no substitute for quiet, consistent vigilance. It isn’t a child’s job to keep herself safe; it’s ours.

It’s a beautiful world out there, but we need to hold our children’s hands through childhood, and we need to prepare them for adulthood by training them to be self-protective and savvy on the streets.

Copyright © 2013 Randi Kreiss. Randi can be reached at

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