A grim reminder of the threat that parents and children face from predators.
Family psychologist Rebecca Bailey has been the director of youth and family services in her local California community and is the founder of Transitioning Families, a counseling service for families in crisis. She has co-authored this guide for families with her sister, Elizabeth Bailey, a registered psychiatric nurse. The book is divided into two sections, one intended for parents and guardians, the other written especially for children. The message in both is the same: the need for parents and children (whether toddlers or teens) to be aware of their environment and vigilant. The authors emphasize the difficult reality that, these days, children must be taught to be wary of all strangers, even those who appear to be in trouble and are requesting help. In the preface, Terri Probyn underscores their points. Her daughter was abducted and abused for 18 years before she escaped her tormentors, and she was subsequently counseled by Bailey. The authors present the second section of the book in the form of a “Safe Kid Kit,” with separate chapters directly addressed to different age ranges. Among the tactics the authors suggest is playing games such as I Spy with young children to train them to scrutinize their environment. They also stress the importance of children and parents or guardians remaining in close touch by phone, a touchy but especially important subject for independent-minded teenagers. The authors provide some frightening statistics about child abductions, and they emphasize the painful truth that parents often need to protect their children from spouses and that children can no longer be taught that unequivocal respect is due their elders, even priests.
A sad commentary on our times, but not to be ignored.