Gavin de Becker's Best Advice for a Lost Child
Last week an eight-year old boy was murdered in Brooklyn when he was allowed to walk home for the first time alone. Notable author Gavin de Becker explains there is no magic age that children are ready to walk home alone, but rather they should take The Test of Twelve to determine if a child is ready to walk to school or home alone.
The same expert, Gavin de Becker, recommends the following advice to teach kids who get lost.
Mr. de Becker says, "I don’t believe in teaching inflexible rules because it’s not possible to know if they’ll work in all situations. There is one rule, however, that enhances safety in most situations: Teach your child to go to a woman if she is lost."
He continues, "Why? First, if your child selects a woman, it’s highly unlikely that the woman will be a sexual predator."
"Next, a woman approached by a lost child asking for help is likely to stop whatever she is doing, get down to the kid’s eye level, commit to that child, and not rest until the child is safe," says de Becker.
He continues, "A man approached by the same child might say, ‘'Head over there to the manager’s desk,’' whereas a woman is most likely to get involved and stay involved."
Mr. de Becker admits, "Is what I’ve said politically incorrect? Maybe so, but the luxury of not running for office is that I don’t care if it’s politically incorrect. The fact is that men in all cultures and at all ages and at all times in history are more violent than women - and facts are not political."
Teaching kids, 'If you are ever lost, go to a woman' works because it’s practical (there will almost always be a woman around) and simple (easy to teach, easy to learn, easy to do)," explains de Becker.
"Finally, teaching children to choose someone rather than wait for someone to choose them will be a useful lesson their whole lives. It’s the same advice I give to adult women."