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Prevent that kidnapping with stories!

Jenny’s New Game
A Guide For Parents
Cross
1983, 1984

This is a preventative for kidnapping. Through the use of stranger scenarios and stories your child will develop an awareness to protect him or her from all the strangers.

This whole “Stranger Game” gives me the creeps. Does this actually work? I also dislike the idea that if you “do something,” bad things won’t happen. This smacks right up with the idea that victims of crime have options or control somehow. Maybe this really is to make parents feel like they are “doing” something.

Regardless of how you feel about this kind of material, it is weed-worthy since resource contact information is outdated.

Mary

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21 Responses to Prevent that kidnapping with stories!

  • Yes, indeed! Run to the nearest pay phone, little child, and call the police. It needs to be weeded.

  • Kids need to know not to go with strangers (even if they say “Mommy wanted me to get you.” but, to role play ever possible scenario will just make them afraid to go anywhere! They will envision bad people around every corner. Like Sister Bear in the Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers. Sister was paralyzed with fear. The library! The movie theater! The fair! By the time this book was published parents weren’t leaving their children alone in these places.

    How are you going to protect your child against kidnapping and assault at “birth?” That’s pretty much up to the parents.

    This is so out of date, and ugly besides! Librarians need to look through the collections more often.

    • Well, Scenario #47 is sure going to haunt my mind. The whole thing is deliciously unfiltered Paranoia Fuel but adding clowns and fursuiters to the mix is just… no.

  • “I also dislike the idea that if you “do something”, bad things won’t happen. This smacks right up with the idea that victims of crime have options or control.”

    I haven’t read the book obviously, but there are things that you can do to lower the likelihood that you will be a victim of crime. To say otherwise is asinine.

  • Usher? I can’t remember the last time I saw one of those in a movie theater.

    If I remember correctly, most child abductions are actually by family members, and most assaults on children definitely aren’t by strangers, so this really needs replacing with something more up to date.

  • Can the quality of the book be judged by the selection of testimonials with multiple errors in grammar?

  • Will you please explain the meaning of “Eggs without chains”?

  • Hmmm, kind of interested to know what “Eggs without Chains” is about. For that matter, what are eggs WITH chains?

    • I took it to mean that children are fragile, but we can’t keep them chained up to insure their safety. At least, that is all that I could make sense of it!

  • The proper response to a lot of these scenarios is to yell “That’s my purse! I don’t know you!” with a kick to the groin.

  • Ah yes, the old “break the kite and then say you’ll pay for it” scenario. Has anyone ever kidnapped a kid by one of those methods?

    These types of books really need more a) reassurance to the child that kidnapping is extremely unlikely and that most strangers are not going to harm you (but that it’s important to be safe anyway) and b) information about kidnappings by relatives, such as a parent’s boyfriend or girlfriend or a non-custodial parent.

    • I was actually custodial-interference kidnapped when I was a about six (in the 80’s, so the height of stranger-danger panic). In my memory, my noncustodial parent took me on a spur-of-the-moment vacation to their out-of-state significant other’s house, then there was a big fight and the vacation was cut short. I didn’t find out until I was an adult that my custodial parent had no idea where I was for much of the “vacation.” In a way, I suppose my ignorance of what was going on was a good thing, since I didn’t find anything scary about any of this, but if I had known that one of your parents taking you somewhere without your other parent’s knowledge was a thing that happens, it might have occurred to me to call home and let them know.

      Not really sure what the point of that anecdote is, really; the book just reminded me of it.

      • Many of these books and “stranger danger” fears of the 1980s were born out of the Adam Walsh kidnapping/murder that happened in the 1980s. Walsh, son of America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh, was kidnapped from a shopping mall and ultimately beheaded by his kidnapper.

  • My daughter got a lot of these scenarios in a safety class in school when she was five and was baffled by why any kid would go off with a stranger. She said, in class, “If you don’t know them, how do you know they really have candy?”

  • “Number 1,122a…” What little kid is going to listen to Mom drone on about all these scenarios? Good grief! Yes, “stranger danger” is real–I was asked to get in a car to help with directions when I was about 10. He had his “stick shift” out, so I got the hell away. My parents kept the script pretty short, so I knew just what to do, like a fire drill.

  • Also, any “protect your kids” book that doesn’t include online dangers is dangerously incomplete. Children need to learn to sound like To Catch A Predator producers in all online interactions.

  • I read a parody of one of these books years ago- a little boy is lost in the park and a man points out the way to the exit. “Rusty thanked the man, and then kicked him in the balls because that’s what you do to perverts!”

  • Other than pay phones, the biggest out-of-date info I see is about listing emergency numbers for calling for paramedics, firemen, police. NENA (National Emergency Number Association) says less than half the US population had access to 911 before 1987. 911 still wasn’t universal by 2000 (which stuns me) but over 90% had access. I’d be very surprised if a similar book published in the ’90s didn’t mention 911.

    When I was little, I and my cousins, then aged 4-11, faced one of these “does that really happen?” scenarios on the way to and from the corner store. Some man in this car kept circling the block, staring at us. The eldest got what was going on and tried to keep us younger ones away from him without scaring us. One side of the street had the sidewalk on a hill much of the way, only being street-level near the store. Happened to be the man wasn’t on that street as we got to that point, so the eldest had us “race” to the store. Since he was waiting on us when we got out, she had us cross to the other side, such that he’d have to dart across the street to catch us. Then he just went around to line up the other direction. Eldest kept us as far away as possible, and he slowed down to talk to us. The man, no kidding, offered us candy he said he had in his car. Even I, the youngest, knew he was being creepy. I hadn’t been taught not to talk to strangers, and probably wouldn’t have listened if I had been. I snapped at the man.
    “We already have candy,” this four-year-old yelled at the would-be abductor, “and it’s candy we like. We don’t want yours. Leave us alone!”
    His jaw dropped, stunned. He didn’t say anything else and pretty soon sped up and drove off. We didn’t see him again. The eldest rebuked me for talking to him, but I figure it was more effective than cowering like she did given that I made it clear we weren’t going to be easy targets and gave every indication that I would throw a fit. He wasn’t the sharpest crayon in the box, tempting with candy kids who were carrying candy in their hands. Just as well some bad guys are less bright than preschoolers.