Saturday, September 2, 2017

On Teaching Kids What to Do

Earlier this week, I experienced one of the greatest fears of parenthood. A stranger tried to convince Johan to go with him.

It was on Tuesday night as we were preparing for bed when Johan said he needed to tell me something. He then proceeded to say that there is this one tricycle driver who is so annoying and kept talking to him in school. Our conversation went like this:

Johan: Mom, there is this guy who is so annoying.
Mom: Who was the guy?
Johan: He is a tricycle driver, a service of a girl from school.
Mom: Why is he annoying?
Johan: He keeps on telling me to come with him to McDo and Burger King, He'll buy me burger. Sometimes he says he'll bring me to the canteen and I can buy anything I want.

At this point, my very sleepy self was suddenly alert and all ears to his story.

Mom: Who is the guy, where were you while he was talking to you? Was he inside the school? Did you get out of the gate?
Johan: No, I was inside, The guy was outside the gate waiting for the student. He was speaking to me thru the gate.
Mom: What did you do?
Johan: I just stay inside my classroom and wait for Kuya Amang to pick me up. (Kuya Amang is his service driver)
Mom: Does this annoying guy always talk to you?
Johan: Yes, everyday. He keeps on asking me to come with him to McDo and Burger King. That's why I just wait inside my classroom so the guy won't see me and sometimes I just run to Kuya Amang if I see this guy.

I was in panic and messaged my husband on Facebook and relayed to him what Johan just told me. We were both fearful for Johan's safety and decided that the Yaya will again accompany Johan to and from school. Yaya will talk to the school admin the next day and I will do it again on Thursday when I go to school for Johan's Buwan ng Wika presentation.

While me and the husband were planning what to do, I remembered to ask Johan:

Mom: Why didn't you go with the guy to McDo? Di ba you liked going there for the chicken?
Johan: Because the guy is a stranger and I am not supposed to talk to strangers di ba, Mom?
Great job, Johan!

Anyway, as planned, Yaya went to school with Johan the next day and informed the school admin and the guard on duty what happened. She also waited for the annoying guy during dismissal and it turned out that the guy used to be the same tricycle driver that serviced them a few times the previous year and Johan just didn't remember it was him.

It was relief to know that the annoying guy was not really a stranger but I am more at peace knowing my son is smart enough to remember what he taught him and to not speak to people he does not know.

This is why it is necessary to keep on reminding our kids not to talk to strangers, paulit ulit kahit makulitan sila. Times are different now, evil people are everywhere and we just cannot sit back and assume our kids know what to do. We have to teach them and prepare them.

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