Like a lot of parent’s, these last few days have been filled with the kind of horror that we do not want to imagine. The fact that April Jones has been abducted is horrible.
I have seen the conversations, both offline and online regarding blaming the parents for her being taken, but you know what. It is not their fault. It is her Abductors fault. This is not negotiable and is THE fact.
My boys live a pretty free range lifestyle, they are often out and about on their own or with their friends. They have boundaries and rules, which I hope that they stick too. The school has discussed stranger danger with them and in light of April’s abduction we have also discussed not going with someone that you know unless Mummy or Daddy say it is OK and if we are not there and have not agreed it then unless they child is with them, then they are not to go with them, with the exclusions of family.
I do not live in constant fear of them being taken. I am well aware that some people might think I am being naive, but they are my children and this is my parenting choice. I feel that they gain so much from being allowed the freedom they are. We live in a village where lots of children play out. I let them get on their scooters and scoot to their friends house. I know where they are most of the time. They also take a walkie talkie out with them too.
I remember growing up with similar ground rules and I also firmly believe that we are more aware of the dangers these days, but they are not necessarily more people like this around, it is just we are aware of them more.
I don’t live in fear of my children being taken either. Despite what the media would have us believe, I think the world is a good place, and abductions like this are extremely rare. This is not to belittle what April’s family is going through. But for us all to live in terror, to restrict our children’s freedom totally because of that terror, and to pass that terror on to them would be a double tragedy.
Alison Bayne » I too like to believe that people are mostly good and that I can only try and give my boys street smarts to deal with the rest of them!
So glad you’ve spoken out about this Jen – I’ve seen so much criticism of the parents letting her play outside at 7pm which just seems ridiculous to me and beside the point. Also seems so inhumane to comment on mundane things such as bedtime restrictions when some cruel, horrible person has done this.
I think whoever has taken her would have done it morning, noon or night and that’s the horrible truth.
Just wishing that she makes it home safe, the poor little tot 🙁
Sophie » You are so right, if someone was going to do this, then I am not sure the time thing made any difference.
I’m so glad you said this. I am so tired of the blame being on parents solely. The abductor caused this terrible tragedy. Mine are too small to be playing outside alone yet, but when they are we’ll ve having sensible boundaries like you mentioned.
Sara-Jayne » I think it is all to easy to blame the parents, when really the abductor is the one solely to blame.
I agree. They are probably doing enough second-guessing and blaming themselves without the rest of the world piling on. Having lost my daughter one time to the extent that I had to call the police, I cannot imagine their pain and hope to god she comes back safely.
Expat Mum » I agree, no one can say anything worse that they must be thinking, but at this time they need support, not to be vilified
My kids are that little bit older now, my youngest being 12 so I dont worry as much as I once did. I really struggled to relax with all mine, and give them freedom. By the time I got to my fourth, I was almost neurotic about her not being out of my eyesight. I wish I wasnt like it though, the kids find it a bit much at times.
I feel so bad for April and her parents…they must be going through absolute hell right now x
Mama Syder » I think that both me and the husband grew up with a lot of freedom to roam and we want our children to have the same. It isn’t always easy, but I do not want to shatter their innocence
I agree. Too much blame has been placed on the parents. My children are both too youngtto be out playing but many children do play out on our street. I hope I let them have a pretty free reign. When I was a child I used to spend most of my days out and about. I knew what was right and wrong and I stuck to the rules.
HelpfulMum » I think that sometimes social media gives people a mouthpiece to say what they want and sometimes things are best left unsaid. Those poor parents
I’ve always been far too fearful but have had to let mine have more freedom – to say April and her parents were unlucky is obviously a ridiculous understatement but it’s the truth – that poor little girl was given the freedom to play out close to her home in their close-knit community and who could possibly have foreseen what would happen – anyone who blames April’s parents are cruel and far too quick to judge x
Lottie Lockwood » I just think it is easy to make judgements with hindsight, but my heart goes out to them
It’s so terribly sad, absolutely tragic for the whole family – my heart goes out to them. I totally agree that it is not the fault of the parents, it is the fault of the abductor. As a parent, I wouldn’t have let my own son play outside of the house or back garden without adult supervision at the age of 5, and certainly not at 7 pm, however, as April’s parents obviously felt comfortable with letting her do so, it is not up to any of us to question their judgement.
This is something that is on every parent’s mind right now, we teach them about stranger danger but what if it’s someone they know. We never can tell what’s going to happen, we can prepare our children best we can and hope they are safe. x
The judgeyness of people on this has really astounded me. My initial reaction was that of complete sympathy for those parents, it never occurred to me for a second that I was in a position to judge anyone. No one has any idea what life has in store for them, no matter how well they think they are protecting their children, people would do well to remember that.