A recent news on a kidnapped attempt of two young children of an Australian tourist couple in the island of Koh Chang sent shivers down my spine.
Imagine a stranger who has been friendly with you and your kids for a few short hours during a ferry ride, whom you had initially thought nothing about, and then created a scene by telling you, the REAL parents, that those kids are really not your children, as the stranger literally dragged your kids away from right under your nose. Original article can be found here
While this could just be an isolated incident given that the vast majority of Thais love kids and are great with them, it is news like this that makes parents like me go on over-protective, paranoia overdrive. It also goes to show that no matter how familiar you are in a place that you thought you are comfortable with, as a parent to young kids who are still not able to fend for themselves, you would never want to lose sight of them.
Both Spud and Squirt are very young still, and I am by no means a parent who would be tail-gating them 1 inch right behind their every move. I am, on the contrary, a big advocate of giving them space for independence. However, while I am generally comfortable to let my kids run free in an enclosed playground, I always make it a point to keep a close watch on them even when I am standing at a distance. When we are outside, my eyes not only follow their every move but my eyes roam around as well. Both my kids are social critters, and I can’t help but put my wary mode on if people get too overtly friendly with them.
I cannot imagine the ordeal the Adelaide couple had to go through as the scary scenario unfolded in front of them. It’s a very scary thought.
To parents out there, here’s a reminder to us all to please be vigilant at all times. Even if, for a second you thought there are other adults around who may be able to watch your kids when you have to turn your back and walk away for even a minute, make sure that you assign the watch to a person you trust. It would be wise to not just assume that because there are “other adults” around, someone would do the watching for you.
Because, if you don’t, either those adults would not immediately think it is their direct responsibility, or that “someone else” had already been watching your kids with ill-intention in mind. The world is a f-up place.