Culture & Entertainment

Is A Code Word A Good Idea?

By: Guest Blogger
Canadian Living
Culture & Entertainment

Is A Code Word A Good Idea?

By: Guest Blogger
Recently, a 10-year-old girl in Ontario avoided abduction by asking for the code word she had arranged with her parents. A man she didn't know told her that her mom sent him to get her, but when she asked him what the code word was, he didn't know. So, she knew not to go with him. This is the type of good-news safety story we all love to hear. Precautions in place keep a child safe. Clearly, this little girl was a smart cookie. Not long did she not go with the man, she tried to remember his license plate and details about him, his car and his accomplice so that the police could find him. Unfortunately, not all kids are ready to react this way. Taking the time to ask for a code word could give the abductor the extra minute they need to coerce a child into their car. And let's face it. Kids can be forgetful. I'm a grown woman and I forget stuff all the time. I have to think twice to remember my credit card PIN every time I use it. And I use it a lot. Plus I really do have an excellent memory. Well I did. Until I had a kid. Anyhow, what happens if your child doesn't remember the code word and just goes with someone who answers with authority? Or goes with them because they don't want to admit they don't know what the word is. How can you be sure they remember the code word and still keep it a secret and don't go repeating it all over the place? At what age is a code word best for? I think the idea of a code word is a good one if you have a child that will remember it. I was the kind of kid who would definitely remember because I was into words. Still am. But my husband? I don't know that a code word would have worked with him at all. Maybe if the code was a trivia question like what kind of motor his toy truck had. I guess the most important thing about teaching your child about safety and stranger danger is to address it, first and foremost. Then decide on a strategy that would work given you know your child best. If you think a code word would work, use it. If you think running away and screaming works best, then do that. Just make sure you talk about it so that your child is aware of the potential risk, and can be as prepared as possible.  
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Is A Code Word A Good Idea?

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