Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paranoid, Over-Protective or Just Trying to Avoid a Parent's Worst Nightmare

Last night a parent's worst nightmare came true for a couple from Louisiana, MO.  Their 4-year-old daughter, Alisa, was taken by a stranger while playing in her own front yard!  Her 6-year-old brother saw the abduction happen and was able to describe the male responsible and the car used.  Here is a copy of the Amber Alert:

I cannot even imagine what these parents are going through.  Apparently, the children were outside playing and the mother was outside with them, as well.  She went inside to finish up dinner and within a matter of 10 minutes, the little girl was gone.  Louisiana, MO, is a small town of about 3,500 people so I'm sure she never thought anything like this would happen.

I couldn't sleep last night for thinking about this little girl.  I pray that God's Holy Spirit would come down and surround Alisa and begin to work on the heart of her abductor.  I pray that if there is even one ounce of good or a conscience in this person that he will not be able to harm this baby. 

I have been reading a lot of posts on different newspaper sites where people are blaming the parents for being negligent and it has really gotten me to think about my own children and how they play outside.

In the last few months, Kanin who is now 6, has gotten to be friends with the neighbor kids.  They all run around from yard to yard playing hide-n-go seek, tag, Army, etc.  I have felt that he is old enough to be outside playing with these kids without me being right out there with him the whole time but it is events like this that make me question if that is the right thing or not.

I don't want any of my children to be afraid of being a kid.  I don't want them to be so dependent on me that they can't make any decisions for themselves or that they are too afraid to be out of my sight but at the same time, I am their protector and it is my responsibility to know where they are at all times.

I remember growing up and staying outside from sun-up until sun-down.  My mom would come out on the front porch and whistle and that is how I knew that it was time to come home.  I would ride my bike all over the place, go for hikes up in the woods behind our house and run around the neighborhood playing with all of the kids.  I was never afraid of someone trying to steal me and I want those same memories for my children, too.

I live in what I believe to be a very "safe" neighborhood.  I know everyone on our little cul-de-sac and most of the kids have been over to our house for dinner.  Of course, there are those cars that drive by that I don't recognize but I have never thought for one second that it could be a child abductor . . . maybe I will now.

Of course, I do not let Gracie, 3, outside without a parent or at least our 15 year old neighbor/babysitter out there with her but I will say that I have let her in the fenced in backyard while I've been inside.  I always keep the family room windows open so I can see her but I don't necessarily stay out there with her the whole time. 

Is this the wrong thing to do?  At one point do I give them (mostly Kanin) a little more freedom?  Should I let him out to play with the neighbor kids?

I am really struggling with this so any advice is welcomed.


  1. I so understand where you are coming from...I don't typically let my kids out when I am not out. I may run in for just a minute to grab something, but I am typically out with them all the time. I just don't trust society in general. I think for me it is just one less thing for me to worry about. As kids at my dad played softball like 4 nights a week and always at a park and there were a group of us kids that always went to the playground by ourselves. (I can't imagine letting my kids do that.) But when they were done playing ball, my dad would whistle and about 6 of us would go running back like a pack of dogs.

  2. This is so sad :( I truly hope this family gets their child back safe and sound. On the same note though a 4 and 6 year old should not be playing outside by themselves. I know she only went back in for a few minutes, but that's obviously all it takes.

    I will definately be the over protective parent and my kids wont be allowed outside by themselves for a long time, and I am ok with that. The fact is things are not how they used to be, abductions happen all the time. Our children just can't run around the neighborhood like we used to. So sad, but it's reality now.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

  3. I literally just hugged Blake and Taylor for 10 minutes straight...i can't stop thinking about this poor child and her family...I am a Mom like you, I have just started giving Blake freedom to go to the car to get stuff out, get the mail, help with yardwork, he's never alone for long, but he would also NOT get into a car with someone and he knows about strangers and has taken a few self defense classes...this just makes you think twice about EVERYTHING!!! I hope you get lots of advice b/c i need it too !!!!