Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Safety First - Protecting Our Children...


















I just had to set my first firm rule at this stage in my daughter's life. I didn't have to sit her down in some sort of uncomfortable manner and have an instructive conversation. The opportunity presented itself naturally, without any effort on my part at all.

While we live in a world that is inhabited by those who would, without hesitation, prey upon our children and defile them in the most unimaginable ways, it is our duty as parents to teach our children about safety and protect them to the best of our abilities. Today, the world is much more complex. It is not as it was when we were children. This generation is much more technologically advanced than ours, as we were more advanced than our parents.

We just activated our wireless internet capability. Although my daughter has been enamoured by using her new laptop (my old laptop) to watch movies in any area of the house, we decided to allow her to use the internet on her computer today. I am technologically-challenged so my husband did the necessary limitation of access to only child-friendly sites.

After my daily "necessary room" moment, I went to her bedroom to continue hanging out with her after a long day of work. There, on her bed, as it has been many times before while she watched a DVD, was her laptop. Except this time, the internet was active. And that is when I had to lay down the law in this house. "Absolutely no internet in the bedroom -- only in the living room at the table with me and/or Daddy!" She started to gear up for a whining session but I stopped her dead in her tracks. This is important. I firmly reiterated the rule and explained the consequences for nonadherence to this rule. Of course, Ms. Inquisitive had lots of questions but I gladly answered them all because this rule is of utmost importance and is unwavering.

In my years of practising law, I have seen several different perspectives regarding the sexual molestation of children. One disturbing fact remains, there are some sick people in this world and they will not hesitate to sexually molest your child given the opportunity. One method of luring children into their dangerous clutches is through use of the internet. It is my responsibility to ensure that my daughter remains in safe surroundings when on the internet in this house. So, we sat together at the table, the internet active on her computer and I could see her screen as she designed a picture with pixos with my own two eyes.

I then proceeded to check the daily news and coincidentally a featured top story today is the solving of the murder of John Walsh's 6-year-old son. And not so coincidentally, but most unfortunately, his son was murdered by a convicted pedophile. Here's the link to the story: http://news.aol.com/article/police-say-walshs-1981-murder-solved/279175.

Most, if not all, states have some public notification system of the sex offenders and predators who live in the community. It is simply an informational tool. Lack of registered sex offenders in your community should not be equated with the nonexistence of sex offenders in your community. They live stealthily among us. So, continue to proceed diligently with caution and strenuously strive to keep all of our children safe.

Disclaimer: Nothing in this blog entry should be interpreted as withdrawing the blame and/or responsibility for the despicable acts committed by sex offenders from the offender him/herself.

Below please find some useful links.

*You may also use this Sex Offender Locator link and click on your respective state: http://www.fbi.gov/hq/cid/cac/registry.htm.

*Check out Oprah's coverage regarding the "Protect Our Children" Act:
http://www.oprah.com/article/oprahshow/20080911_tows_avoid
http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/oprahshow/20080926_tows_alimarkgayle/7
http://www.oprah.com/slideshow/oprahshow/20080911_tows_predators/1

*And for some levity, "The Mom Song": http://vimeo.com/1509073

One Love, Se'Lah

2 comments:

vchelle said...

Amen Sisah! Some things must be openly discussed with our children head on with assertiveness and internet communication is one of them. Thank you for reminding me to ALWAYS be cautious and alert about the topic of molestation of children. It is unfortunate that it is an epidemic. Thank you again for your insight from one mom to another...

Anonymous said...

In addition, it is also imperative to keep ones' eyes open to never overlook these acts performed by a family member. Unfortunately, we live in a world today where people have gotten more guile and perverted.

I applaud you for having an open conversation with your daughter on this topic. Your approach was indeed assertive and necessary and I hope your daughter will grow to appreciate conversations of such thus creating wisdom for when she would be placed in such a scenario.

If you noticed, I deliberately said "when she would" be placed in a situation when dealing with perverse men or women. It's almost sad to say that it will happen. But the key is preparing her with all the information she will need to make educated decisions.

Jah Guide