Friday, December 2, 2011

Children and Crime

There are often hard topics to talk about with your children and for me, crime is one of them. I can remember my parents watching the news when I was a child and the things I would see would frighten me. I can recall laying in bed, scared to fall asleep after hearing my parents talk about things that were on the news that night or that week.  I can vividly remember when I was a teenager and a girl was kidnapped and killed while jogging in a neighboring community....I was so scared and it haunted me for weeks and months afterwards. I remember getting off work as a waitress and running to my car because it was dark and I was scared. Even after they found the man who did it (He had freaked out and shot and killed himself) I remember still being frightened simply because it was so hard for me to believe that there were people capable of doing such terrible things to other people. I was born and raised in small town Ohio and I can probably recall every murder that has happened in our area throughout my lifetime. Most were domestic or the deaths were a result of a fight. Never can I remember anything happening like you see in big cities. Random acts of violence just don't happen here....not until now.

This week, our community was rocked by a double homicide. In a small neighboring town in Mercer County, Ohio a father and his daughter were found murdered. They were bound with duct tape and shot to death. The man was an elderly man who depended on a wheelchair to get around. His daughter was his caretaker.  Little details have been shared but they believe robbery was the motive. This was just a couple of days ago and everywhere you go in our small little town, this is all that is being talked about. Crime doesn't just affect the victims and their families but when something like this happens, it rocks the entire community. It takes away citizens sense of security, their peace of mind. I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit fearful. I am taking extra precautions to lock the windows and doors, even when I am home. A truck pulled into my driveway yesterday and I didn't know the man who came to my door. He rang my doorbell and came and knocked on my other door. I was home alone with the baby and I had swooped him up and was hiding in the dining room. After I saw the truck pull away, it took me a minute but I was like "Am I really hiding in my dining room?" It was a very real moment for me when I realized what this crime has taken away from so many people here.  If the person(s) responsible for this crime are capable of taking the life of an elderly man in a wheelchair and his daughter who sacrificed her life to care for him, they will stop at nothing....and that is what scares me the most.

I have been very careful not to talk about this in front of my children. I was really worried kids would be talking about it at school or on the bus but thankfully they haven't heard about it yet. I don't want my kids to live in fear. I want them to be able to be children without being scared and insecure. I think I need to teach my children ways to be safe and to be aware of strangers but at the same time, I need to leave out specific details because like I said, I don't want them to hear of things like this in our community and be scared.

What do you think? Do you think it's best to talk about things like this with your children or are some things better left unsaid?

2 comments:

sleepy headed mom said...

It's tough to talk about things like that but I personally think kids should be told. I guess it would depend on the age of the child and the child as an individual as to what details are included or left out. I think it's obviously important to protect our children, but not shelter them from reality.
Some people are completely crazy and do horrible things but avoiding letting kids know does nothing to protect them. Growing up I remember hearing things on the news that were very scary but my parents were open to discuss these things. I learned pretty early on that bad things do really happen, people get hurt, people hurt each other, and not even children are immune to it. I never lived in fear because I understood that while those things do happen the odds were not that high. So instead of being terrified or hampered by a few maniacs' actions, I took (still do) precautions to protect my well being. I grew up to be a confident yet cautious adult aware of my surroundings at all times.
Bottom line is it's all up to the parent. You know you're children better than anyone else. What works for one person doesn't always work for the next. I say use your own discretion, go with your gut, and cross each bridge as you come to it.

karenmed409 said...

I think it should be discussed and go over what they need to do if a stranger approaches them. We live in a small community, several years ago, my best friend and neighbor's 3 year old granddaughter was taken from her home in the middle of the night. This was just 2 streets over from our home.. my friend just around the corner... I remember getting cold chills when the whole community was out searching for Riley.. helicopters flying over our small town. I think all the parents in town have become more cautious on where are children are and keeping an eye for each other.

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