A Parent’s Worst Nightmare

By Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

You wake up in the morning and step into your child’s room only to be alarmed that they are not the crib.

You are cleaning the house, expecting your child to walk through the door after school when you realize they should have been home over an hour ago.

Your teenager doesn’t come home after attending a school sporting event.  You call her cell phone, but it goes straight to voice mail.

Any one of these incidents could be a parent’s worst nightmare. 

It could be an honest disconnect.  Your spouse picked your baby up from the crib and is playing with them in the living room.  Your six-year-old stopped at the park to play with a friend and lost track of time.  Your daughter’s ride home broke down and she forgot her phone in the car as it was being towed to the shop.

Or it could be that worst nightmare.  Your child was kidnapped, abducted and/or trafficked.  Children in the United States are taken from their homes daily.  An estranged spouse, a random kidnapper, a deranged stalker, or a sophisticated international trafficking organization.  And it doesn’t matter the child’s age, their sex, the family’s financial status, their heritage, or the color of their skin.

At what age do you have a talk with your child about the risks and threats in the real world?  After their graduation from college; or high school?  What about when they begin attending kindergarten?  How do you approach a subject that might scare your baby?

While you don’t want your child to be exposed to the risk; you must recognize that the risk is real and present.  How you manage that risk is just as important as the talk you have with your child.

Is twenty-four-hour protective service an option?  Is it necessary?  Is it realistic?

Attend to the little things first.  Dead bolt doors, lock the car, keep your eyes on them as they play in the front yard.  Initiate their understanding of “Stranger Danger”.  Teach them how to respond if they get separated from you at the mall.  Simple actions of risk mitigation that don’t really frighten the little ones.  It gets a little more challenging as they grow up; but the fundamentals don’t change.  If you’re obsessive of your own safety and they see that; they’ll be as conscientious of theirs.

Considerations for post incident recovery:  Tracking disc sewn into a jacket, tracking software loaded onto a cell phone.  Annual finger and footprint records; annual photographic records.  Documentation of all scars, birth marks and unique physical traits.

We are as concerned about this issue as you are. Watch for an upcoming program Saddle River Range is developing on protecting the family.  Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle, or even an older sibling; knowing how to prepare a child for the world, and how to protect them, is important.  Having them know what to look for as a potential risk, and how to respond to an actual threat is important in keeping your child around to watch them walk across the stage at graduation, walk down the aisle at their wedding and share the joy of them giving you grandchildren.  

When is the best time to begin the conversation?  It will depend on the child, the family and the environment.  If your work has you living in foreign countries, earlier may be better.  If you live in “Mayberry” later may be just fine.  Are they asking questions about “Amber Alerts” or news stories about a little girl that was abducted from her front yard?  You want to protect them; but you want them to be able to watch out for the signs.  Start with small bits of information.  That may be all that’s needed to quell their curiosity at that time.  As they ask more questions, answer them honestly.  But don’t be so visual with your answers that it frightens them.  Bring them to your annual National Night Out Neighborhood get together.  Introduce them to the Police Officer in attendance, let them get comfortable seeing that uniform so they know what to look for and what to recognize if they do one day get separated from you.

It’s also important to help them build their confidence; spend time with them letting them do things without you doing it for them.  Bring them to the range and instruct them on the safe and proper use of a firearm.  There are plenty of news story where an older sibling is forced into a situation to use lethal force to protect their younger siblings.  If you’re not comfortable providing the instruction; we have experienced instructors that can introduce the safe and responsible operation of a firearm to your little ones.  Just give us a call; we’ll evaluation the situation, consider their age and maturity, and set up a time to learn.

See you at Saddle River Range soon.

Stay Safe and Stay Alert,



© Copyright 2022 Ron Mullins and Thom Bolsch

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