It’s not always an easy topic to cover with children, but stranger safety should be tops on our list of must-cover items with our children.
Today’s just 1 book contributor has written a book that will help caregivers with this difficult task, and the author shares the heartbreaking event in her life that led her to writing this book.
about the author: Melissa Harker Ridenour, formerly a teacher and librarian, is now a freelance writer and children’s book author. She has published essays, poetry, magazine articles, and web articles as well. She believes in the power of words. “Words define us,” she contends. “Our use of words, in both spoken and written communication, is often the first and most formidable impression that we make.”
As a former teacher, she has mentored students in every capacity of their educational development. As a mother and grandmother, she shares concerns with all parents for the safety of children. Melissa’s love of children and her concern for their safety and welfare is the motivating factor behind the development of her book, What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers.
Melissa offers workshops to schools and other educational institutions or organizations. The workshops reinforce for children, in a fun and creative way, some of the information and strategies presented in What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers.
An alumnus of West Virginia University with a Master’s degree in English, Education, and Library Science, Melissa resides happily in Morgantown, WV with her husband and family.
Melissa has offered to give away one copy of her book to one lucky teach mama reader this week! Thank you Melissa!
- just 1 book: author guest post by Melissa Ridenour
There are No Monsters Under Your Bed, by Melissa Ridenour
I am a retired teacher, freelance writer and children’s book author. Most importantly, I am a parent and grandparent with genuine concerns for the safety and well-being of my own children, grandchildren, and for all children.
Parenthood involves, not only loving our children unconditionally, but also assuming the responsibility for protecting them from any kind of harm and raising them to be healthy, happy adults, and, of course, reassuring them at bedtime that there are no monsters under the bed. How can we parents make our children feel safe and secure and, indeed, protect them from monsters out there in the real world? Most of us, as parents, learn as we go, do the best we can, and just hope for the best.
Parenthood can be frightening and rift with anxiety too. Having children is like having your heart forever walking around outside your body – facing whatever dangers that may cross their paths along the way. We parents instinctively try to shield our children, but we can’t always be with them. That is why it’s necessary to empower children to take a pro-active role in keeping themselves safe as well. My book, What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers, published by Headline Kids in May, empowers children in just that capacity.
Sometimes people ask me why I wrote a children’s book on such a subject. My motivations are varied, beginning with a traumatic memory from my childhood. When my best friend and I were in the fifth grade, I awoke on a Monday morning to my mother explaining to me that I wouldn’t see my friend in school anymore. She explained to me, as gently as she could, that my friend had been abducted, raped, and murdered the evening before. That was a difficult thing for me to understand at that age. But the trauma stuck with me thereafter. As a child, when I would walk to school, I would have to pass the spot where my friend’s body was discovered. I remember for the longest time running, terrified, past that spot each time. Adding to the tragedy of the story is the fact that her mother, the next year, committed suicide. She was never able to cope with the loss of her daughter, especially in such a violent way.
That haunting memory has always remained with me, especially when I became a mother myself. One of my greatest fears as a young mother, and even now that my children are grown with children of their own, is that something similar could happen to them. That fear, combined with the alarming statistics regarding missing & exploited children were motivations for writing a book that would teach and empower children to stay safe, and to help parents learn how to keep children safe from abduction or predator harm.
My book deals with protecting children from abduction from strangers. According to the most recent statistics, 79% percent of abductions are committed by strangers and 21% by acquaintances. The concept of “stranger” is difficult for children to understand. Children sometimes hear their parents use the phrase, “stranger danger”. That phrase should be retired. Such a phrase can make children feel as though all strangers are bad when, in fact, most people, including most strangers are good. But some people, including some strangers aren’t so good. It’s impossible for anyone, especially children, to know with absolute certainty who is good and who is bad. That is why the first chapter of my book explains to children the concept of strangers in a very kid-friendly way and teaches them a method for determining whom they should and should not trust.
I recently taught the stranger safety portion of a safety day event held for children at a 4-H camp. Part of my stranger safety lesson included role playing scenarios involving common predator lures. What I learned is that children, unfortunately, are incredibly trusting, naïve, and have a sense of invincibility. That is why it is important that my book be a shared experience between parent and child / teacher and students. Parents and teachers can help their children practice the strategies from the book that the children need to remember to stay safe.
What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Follett, Ingrams, and Baker & Taylor. Learn more about the book at www.AuthorMelissaHarkerRidenour.com. Subscribe to my Child Safety Blog at http://childsafety-melissa.blogspot.com.
GIVEAWAY: A signed copy of Melissa Ridenour’s book, What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers
Do you want to win signed copy of Melissa Ridenour’s book, What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers?
- All you have to do is leave a comment here (with email address!) explaining why you need a copy of this book!
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This contest ends on Monday, November 21, 2011 at midnight ET. Winner will be chosen by ‘And the Winner is. . .’ and will be notified on or around 11/21/11. Winner must respond within three (3) days of notification or forfeit the prize, in which case an alternate winner will be selected. All Official Sweepstakes Rules apply.
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fyi: This is an unsponsored post, and Melissa Ridenour has agreed to send a signed copy of her book to one winner.