I think I am speaking mostly to moms, but dads need to pay attention too.
Please read this, and if you do this/have one of these "cute" things, please re-think it.
This morning, while out running errands, I saw something that just compelled me to write. I have seen variations of this before, and every time I do, I cringe.
And I wish people would not do this.
The one I saw today was just too over the top.
I have to tell you what I know.
And I apologize.
I wish I didn't have this knowledge, but I do.
After nearly 20 years (yikes, I'm gettin' old, but that's another post) of working in human/social services, child welfare, psychiatric treatment centers/hospitals, foster care, group homes and counseling victims of crime and trauma survivors, and mostly from my stint working closely with dectectives and child protective service workers and doctors that investigate child abuse reports......I have this knowledge that predators are out there, and they are looking for our children.
I believe I have been able to maintain a pretty good balance of reality, healthy fear and faith. I trust that God is in control and that God is good. I don't believe I am paranoid, but maybe more alert than the average person, at least some of the time. Who knows, maybe my head is up my butt more than I realize. But again, I digress!
Parents, Please PLEASE PLEASE Do NOT make it easy for the bad guys.
I'm begging you!
Here are 2 examples I found from a quick google search:
Please, PLEASE, PLEASE rethink this 'cute' idea.
The one I saw around today was just too much for me. I wanted to take a photo to post here, but I don't have photoshop, or any other way to edit photos. There was too much information on the vehicle. Way too much information. And I don't want to contribute to the problem.
The one I saw today had the whole family pictured, including pets. The cute little sticker/decal included first names. It also had the family's last name. The vehicle also had a sticker for the family's church and the kid's school.
Does anyone see the problem with this?!?
Once again, I wish I did not see the world this way.
I wish I did not know what I know.
But I do.
Fortunately, I am not a predator. However, this is making it too easy for someone who is. They choose one of the children and come up and talk to them. They use family names, know how many brothers/sisters the child has, even knows about the pets, and where they go to school. The bad guy even knows if the child is the oldest or youngest sibling. The predator can then ask questions and strike up a conversation, possibly convincing the child that the predator knows the family.
And, if the 'bad guy' is patient (and you'd be surprised at how many are) and has a little time on his (or her) hands. A quick internet search will provide even more info/material to use. Parents first & last name will most likely lead to an address. I can look up the school website and the church website to get an idea of activities and/or schedules. And who knows what else I could do if I was so inclined. Do you get the idea?
It is not good people. It is not good.
Please please please do not do this.....