Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Ok - Update - in our efforts to stay connected to society, The news...etc, we have borrowed and set up a pair of Rabbit ears and a converter box! Not exactly cable, but at just the right time of night (between 9:30 and midnight), when the antennas are pointed and balanced in just the right delicate angle, we are able to get channels 6, 10, and 13! wahooooo!

So last night we happened across this show called What Would You Do? I think it was on Channel 13? maybe 10? - if it wasn't either of those, it was 6. Anyway, it is a show that at first reminded me a little bit of candid Camera. Putting actors in places and doing things to see who would react to the situation and how. There were a couple of different scenarios played out, putting people in awkward positions of either intervening to stand up to a person making racial remarks, or telling your friend the shouldn't get married because you have information that it would be for the wrong reason..........things like that. It was pretty amusing.

Then they showed a child at a busy playground (actress) who was left alone for a few minutes by her nanny that had to run to the bathroom (actress). Along comes this stranger man (actor), who acts very normal and non threatening, but begins to strike up a conversation with the little girl. Tells her he likes her pigtails, makes up some story about a lost dog and asks if she wants to help him find it - maybe over near the bushes! Meanwhile, The other moms and Dads that are at the playground with their own children immediately start tuning into this guy, they find themselves moving closer to that little girl, making sure she stays put, almost looking like they would pounce on that man if he made one wrong move! Eventually the Mom's and Dad's can't keep their mouths shut and they intervene before things go too far. They tell that little girl she needs to stay where she is, do not go with that man, or come over here and swing with my daughter. It was so great to see so many Moms and Dads stepping up to protect that little girl. They were aware of the situation immediately and they were in alarm mode. Like a bear protecting her young. I was proud of these people. they had no idea there were cameras. when the hoax was revealed, they were relieved, and admitted that they were not going to let that girl go anywhere with that Man.

Then the show explained how many times they played out that scenario,(lots) and how only about a dozen people actually intervened! I was shocked. It made me think about myself in that position. Would I stand up to a stranger to protect a child I don't know? even with no signs of violence (yet) , would I have the instinct to know that something was not right? risk being wrong about the man's character? YOU BET I WOULD! at least in my head I would! I mean I have never been in that situation, and hopefully never will. But after watching how some of those moms took control, I was Pumped! - "yeah that's right Buddy - She isn't going anywhere with you! Drag your ass - what are you doing at a playground without kids of your own?" (that's me reacting in that situation Maybe it wouldn't be a good idea to swear in front of the kids.

Anyway, that show also re-emphasized my need to talk to my children about NOT talking to strangers! suddenly I was seeing Vivian on that swing all by herself - and I was wondering What Would She Do? - yup time for the stranger talk again - especially since I have One Very outgoing Boy, and the girls seem to want to follow in his footsteps. Although, One thing is for sure, I would have never left my child on the swing ALONE while I run to the bathroom. (really mom, I wouldn't).


Jen said...

that sounds like an interesting show. Good to know that there are sane people out there among the crazies.

corin said...

I have attempted to intervene in different situations where it appeared that children were being mistreated. Sometimes I think just a harsh look, letting people know you are watching is enough of a deterrent. If it was a stranger, I would be more likely to as you dont have the feeling that you are butting in. on a nasty hag or something. ha ha.

Jennifer W said...

One time, I pulled up at Hannaford, and there was this girl sleeping in the car next to me. There was a baby in the carseat. The mom was snoring away. I did all my shopping (took nearly an hour) and went back out. She was still sleeping, and the baby was fussing. It just seemed all wrong. I didn't want to knock on the window and get into a fight (you KNOW that is the way it would have gone), so I snuck back to the store and told a manager. They went out and looked. Imagine how stupid I felt when they told me it was the meat dept manager's girlfriend waiting for him to get out of work.

Moral of the story: Don't sack out with your kid in the car and I won't worry about you :-)

CynthiaK said...

It's good that the reminder to have the 'strangers' talk was only because of the hypothetical situation on tv and not a real news story about a child disappearing.

Now I'm going to have the talk with mine tomorrow again, too!

Tracey said...

The strangers conversation is important and should be an ongoing one in your family. But do NOT believe that your kids couldn't be swayed by a nice person. They have done other tests such as that where they have an actor approach an unknowing child and the parents have watched on closed-camera as their kids skipped away with a stranger.

I have no doubt my middle one would be swayed by a piece of candy. Not a doubt.