My son turned eight today. He doesn’t understand why we’ve not enabled internet or You Tube on his ipod now that he is “a whole year older.” I noticed that Jaycee Dugard was trending, so I showed my kids the mug shots of her abductors and explained (at the highest and least detailed level possible) that “it’s not you it’s THEM.”
“There are bad guys in the world and they like the Internet where they can trick kids,” I explained, ” The bad guys hurt kids and force them to live in cages and don’t let them ever see their parents again”. . . It’s not the witch in the gingerbread house, but they got the point without me telling them about little girls found in suitcases or landfills. . . it’s a sick, sick world, and they only need to know enough to be a little bit scared.
Anyway, now for your comic relief. After navigating away from Ms. Dugard’s abusers who don’t deserve to be named, Yahoo had this picture on its front page:
My daughter points to it and asks, “Are those bad guys who like to hurt kids too?” and I laughed out loud. “Only some kids,” was all I could think to say. These two cautionary tales duke it out about who was the bigger Yes-man in a tragic comedy of hubris and errors, and I’ll keep trying to keep my kids from solo trips on the Internet.