Host: Who is most at risk, younger children or older children?
Nancy McBride: I think a lot of people believed that younger children are at more at risk and in reality older kids are equally at risk and sometimes more at risk than younger children. I think we supervise our younger children more than we do our older children and we send our older children out on their own thinking that we have done a good job, we have taught them rules, we have taught them how to respond, we think they are prepared. Unfortunately they are out and about, they are making choices and decisions, sometimes engaging in risky behavior and not really understanding the consequences of that behavior.
So, parents and guardians need to stay involved with their older kids lives and when you ask your older kid Where are you going? and they say, Out, it not the correct answer. We really need to know what they are doing, we need to set some rules and guidelines and as your kids get older, it is going to tougher, they are going to rebel a little bit against that, so sit down with them and discuss with them, Why are you doing what you doing? That is because you really care about them, you are not just being a nosy parent, just want to know who they are talking to, who they are out with, who their friends are?
So, that if anything were to happen, you would now who to get in touch with. So, you do not want your older kids to have a life that you know nothing about because if that is the case, then you have nowhere to start, should they become missing or should something happen to them. So, keep those lines of communications with your kids open all through their life. It is going to be better for you and for them because they will know they come to you with whatever is going on, if somebody is making them feel uncomfortable, they can come and tell you and then you as a parent or guardian will handle it in a very calm way and you will make sure that you help protect them.