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Never Let Your Children Out of Your Sight

  1. Jun 4, 2006 #1
    I read a story about a sex offender who attempted to kidnap an 8-year-old girl while she and her family were shopping at Wal-Mart in Waterville, Maine. This happens every day but it's not such a common occurrence in rural Maine. It serves as a reminder that our children should never be out of our sight even for a moment.

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  3. Jun 5, 2006 #2
    I understand that bad things can happen, and this was almost a very unfortunate circumstance. But to say your kid should never be out of sight for even a minute sounds a little paranoid, especially at the age of 8. At 8 a kid should no not to walk to a car with strangers.

  4. Jun 5, 2006 #3


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    I see so many kids running around stores unsupervised that clearly haven't been taught much of anything about how to behave in public let alone not to wander off with strangers that an awful lot of parents seem to need to be reminded of this. I agree, something is wrong that this girl just walked off with a stranger like that. There still seems to be a parenting shortcoming that contributed to making this possible. But, this was clearly more than a minute that she was out of sight. The article says she was an aisle over when it happened, and since they found her out in the parking lot, it was more than a minute before the mother noticed her missing.

    Yeah, when I was 8, my mom probably sent me to run back an aisle in the grocery store for something we forgot every once in a while, but I also knew by then not to talk to strangers let alone walk away with one.
  5. Jun 5, 2006 #4
    It seems really weird to me to even think of children not knowing that. My brothers and I were really beaten over the heads with that when we were young, metaphorically speaking. We even had passwords, in case for some bizarre reason our parents had to send someone to pick us up from school. We also weren't allowed to walk anywhere beyond sight of the house alone until we were all 13 or so. Of course, none of the other kids we knew had parents that protective, but still, it seems so strange.
  6. Jun 5, 2006 #5


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    Exactly. That's like the first step to growing up. :biggrin:

    I remember my mom always let us go get the meat because they always gave us a slice of salami or ham. (us means brother and I)
  7. Jun 5, 2006 #6
    It's true that most of us would think that an 8-year-old would not walk off with a stranger but not all children are alike. Perhaps she just naively believed that the man was actually telling the truth and was taking her back to her mother. She must have trusted him, at least initially, or she wouldn't have walked away with him. She must have thought that her parents had already returned to the car or something although it seems as though that they hadn't even been separated for very long before it happened. Children should be taught that they should never allow themselves to be led away by a stranger under any circumstances no matter what the man says (unless it's someone saving them from some kind of danger like a fire and I don't even need to mention that). They should be made aware that child molesters employ any sort of trickery that they can think of to get the child to walk away with them.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2006
  8. Jun 5, 2006 #7


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    I think that's what everyone is agreeing on here, but are baffled as to how someone missed teaching this kid that lesson. And if she is that dense, or overly trusting, then the parents should know this and NOT let her out of sight until she's learned this better. I was raised just like Franz describes...have the lesson of don't talk to strangers beat into you along with not playing out of sight of the house, and getting completely out of the street if any car was coming. We didn't have "passwords" (that whole idea started when I was already a bit older), but certainly knew not to leave with anyone other than one of our parents or grandparents from school, even if they told us our parents sent them.

    Yep, we were always told, "There are bad people who like to steal children..."

    They used to go over this at school too, along with things like don't eat medicine like candy, to which I also used to roll my eyes..."Duh, everybody knows that!"
  9. Jun 5, 2006 #8
    A pound of cure

    I was born in 1950. When I was 8 years old, I was running free whenever I wasn't in school or otherwise incarcerated. I'm not sure that the child abduction problem has gotten any worse since then, but parents are much more paranoid about it. I think the kids are missing out on an important part of childhood and that society will suffer for it. Perhaps we are raising future child abductors or something like that. Are these adults who are trying to steal back their childhood?
  10. Jun 5, 2006 #9


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    That seems to be the other extreme...though, were you really unsupervised, or was it that at the time, most mom's were at home, so all kept an eye out the window on the neighborhood kids playing to make sure you were all okay? I have the impression from my parents, who are a bit older than you, that when they were kids, it wasn't unusual for a neighbor to be the one to scold them if they got into trouble, and drag them back home to their own mom.

    I agree on this point.

    And I agree on this point too.

    But I think this conclusion is a huge leap, and pretty unlikely. If anything, I think what it's doing is prolonging immaturity and leaving kids unprepared for making independent decisions and solving their own problems in adulthood because their parents aren't giving them small doses of independence to develop those skills as children.
  11. Jun 5, 2006 #10
    Some of that went on, but mostly not. I lived on a block with a lot of kids of all ages. When we ran around, we stayed close to home and probably protecting eyes were upon us from time to time.

    However, from 3:00 when school let out, until 6:00 when I was expected for supper, I could be found anywhere. I walked a mile to school (uphill both ways of course) and fanned out in most directions before straggling home. I spent a good deal of time with my classmates all over town.

    Perhaps we were protected by the fact that adults were aliens in our world. A necessary evil at best. If an adult had offered to take us somewhere we would probably have exhibited the same disdain that we showed our own parents and teachers.
  12. Jun 5, 2006 #11

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    FWIW - I visited Canada a few years back. People didn't lock their doors.
    There was very little paranoia about sex offenders or much of anything else.

    The broadcast news there was news - not 'Action EyeWitness why you should be afraid' news. This was when paranoia ran deep in the US.

    Not that bad guys don't exist and do bad things - but the level of watchfulness everyone in the US seems to tout is suitable for combat zone tactics. We don't live in free fire zones. At least I don't.

    Otherwise, why the heck would you want to live in the US?

    Anyway, there have been a lot of folks blasting US news coverage as a source for the over-reaching fear people in this country sometimes exhibit. Here is a discussion about missing kids. And by far the most have simply left home because life is too disagreeable there.


    And yes I have kids - from 11 -> 31 years old.
  13. Jun 6, 2006 #12


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    Remember that stuff only appears as news because it doesn't happen on a regular basis.
  14. Jun 6, 2006 #13

    This isn't even true. In, I believe the summer of 2001, there was a several month spat of constant coverage about shark attacks, which drove my mother into a ridiculous protective frenzy over going to the beach (I mean news coverage almost every day, for a month or more). There were fewer attacks that year than the previous year, in both the US, the World, and Volusia County Fl (which accounts for the majority of attacks in Fl, and where most of the reporting was). Reporters just had nothing better to do.
  15. Jun 6, 2006 #14
    After I thought about it, I can't believe that the child molester said that he knew her mother. If he really knew her mom, wouldn't her daughter recognize the man as someone her mother knew? Maybe not--she doesn't know everyone that her mother knows but it would make some children say that they didn't know him/her. Also, how would the man recognize her as her mother's daughter when he just suddenly appeared out of the blue and hadn't seen her before other than from a description or a photo? And why would her mother send someone else to retrieve her in the first place? I guess child molesters aren't supposed to be logical. I guess they use every trick in the book whether it seems logical or not. It just shows how gullible people can be if they're not thinking clearly.

    Last edited: Jun 6, 2006
  16. Jun 6, 2006 #15


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    It's an old and commonly used trick. It's the kid who isn't logical, and that's what they count on. That's why schools and law enforcement agencies started recommending using passwords, which is what Franz grew up with. The idea is that anyone can say that your mom or dad sent them to pick you up, but they won't know your parents' names or the password if they are lying. When I was a kid, this was more something that was tried at schools, when kids were waiting for their parents to pick them up. Just drive up to a kid who was standing around waiting for a parent who is late, and tell them their mom sent them to pick the kid up, and the kid hops in the car and leaves.
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