My middle one starts Kindergarten this year. My oldest just started Grade 3. My youngest (for now) is eagerly awaiting Kindergarten next year. They're growing up so fast! So when the perfect opening came up tonight at dinner, I took the opportunity to talk about safety. It started out innocent enough. We talked about how Connor is NOT to leave the school yard during the day. Alex helped out by explaining the boundaries and where the school fence lies.
So then I led with talking to strangers and I reminded them that they are only to get into the car with their Daddy or I. No one else is to pick them up from school. Which of course led to a series of questions:
"What about Grandpa?"
Yes, okay, Grandpa can pick you up, too.
"How about Grandma?"
Yes, Grandma too. And Aunty Lindsay. But no one else.
"What about Aunty Victoria? Or Brandon and Taylor (cousins)?"
Well, Aunty Victoria, yes, but not Brandon and Taylor, they are too young to drive!
"Would you ever send Lily and Sophie to pick us up?" Uproarious laughter at the thought of our two cats driving to the school to pick the boys up.
No, NEVER get into a car if the cats are driving!
When they calmed down and stopped laughing, I asked them what they would do if someone they didn't know ever offered them candy.
Connor said he would eat it. Alex said he would fall to the ground and do a litttle dance (huh?). Kirstin said, "What kind of candy?"
So we chatted about NEVER taking candy from strangers (which of course goes out the window on October 31st) because it could be just a way for the stranger to lure you closer and kidnap you.
"What if it's a cat that offers you candy, then would it be kitty-napping you?"
"Can you take the candy if it's in the trunk of his car and not the seat?"
"What kind of candy?"
And what do you do if someone offers you a cigarette?
"What's a cigarette?"
"Why do people smoke if you get cancer?"
"Grandma doesn't smoke, how did she get cancer?"
"Why are drugs bad? Isn't medicine drugs? Does that mean that doctors are evil?"
And don't even ask how our discussion about what to do if someone tries to touch your private parts went. Let's just say that my children now have a list of people that they would tell if anyone does anything to make them uncomfortable. It includes my husband and myself, the kids' grandparents, their teachers, the principal, our cats... and a rock.