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What is the biggest thing you wish kids understood about staying safe?
That people lie about who they are.
I had to calm my youngest down and reassure her, “Mommy does want you to make friends,” after forbidding her to chat online during a Minecraft game.
We are in a huge resort hotel with wifi.
Several messages were sent to her assuring her, “I’m a kid, don’t worry.” The “kid’s” handle was “I h8 mom.”
“Why would you want to be friends with someone with a name like that?”
She didn’t understand it was pretty clear this was not really a child (although I know I’ve had “The Internet Can Be Dangerous Talk” with her.)
She told me I was “too protective.” Thank you.
She told me I was mean. Yep.
She told me I was unfair. I know.
But, after she calmed down, we talked again. I had to re-burst her bubble that the world is all rainbows and sparkles. There are people out there who aren’t nice and want to hurt kids. There are people who lie and will pretend to be kids themselves. There are scary things out there and it’s my job to protect her, no matter how mean it is, from these people, including kids.
She got it. She looked at me and said, ” I love Minecraft, but I love you more. I won’t talk to kids. But if I meet them at the beach, I’ll build a sandcastle with them and we can pretend it’s Minecraft.”
Playing in the real world with real kids sound perfect to this Overprotective Mom.
Michelle Roses is a Mother, shark diver, reporter, dancer and Wonder Woman. Her work has been published by Inc, Slate, and The Huffington Post. You can read more from Quora here:
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