instinct has a voice

Late yesterday afternoon….Mason and Lola were playing out front when they came running inside…

breathing hard and obviously terrified.

They said there was a car that had parked on the street….and a man was watching them…

so i ran outside….and as i got out…i noticed the car already gone and turning onto another street from ours.

{four door…dark blue or black ……with a man in his 20’s described by them}

Of course…being the NON over reacting mother that i am…….

i first asked the kids if possibly….just maybe….was there a sign on top of the car…

like a “Domino’s”….or “Chinese delivery”….

because my neighbor gets take out delivered all the time.

The kids said Β NO.

I walked over to my neighbors to make sure…..and no one was home.

My second thought was to ask the kids if by chance….

were they maybe playing to close to the street…

because it has been known…that a car will drive by…and they wave it down.

Or…maybe they were just playing to close to the street period…and the car had stopped because

they were just being silly.

It’s been known to happen.

But they said no…they were not…and i realized…that if they were nervous enough to come running in

and tell me Β they were scared…that i needed to call the police.

{this was our first legal call to 911…and i was a little nervous the operator would ask me if my

kids were crank calling again}

My kids did the right thing.

I’ve always since day one….shoved Stranger Danger down their throats.

My dad was a cop….and i’ve always told the kids the same thing my dad always instilled in us

growing up…and that was…trust your instinct.

Kids have instincts….but kids tend to trust adults because they’ve always been taught to respect them.

If some stranger came up to Lola and said he lost his puppy…well damn …she’d be the first one to

volunteer to help find it.

If some stranger came up to Fin and said he had a huge bar of chocolate sitting in his car….

well damn ….he’d be the first one to hop in and look for it.

I’m hoping strangers don’t use that tactic anymore….for my kids sake…..but anyhoo….

i’m so freakin proud of them for listening to their instinct that something was not feeling right..

and came right in to tell me.

The police came…but before they showed up…i told the kids that now was the time to tell me if

they have stolen anything….or committed any certain crime…

because the police know everything.

They were adamant that they had NOT done anything wrong lately.

{police legally showing up doesn’t happen often…so it was a good time to see if anyone needed to come clean;-) }

The police came…took a report…and told the kids that they did the right thing.

We’ve also talked with the kids about the actual fact of being taken.

It’s hard…because kids get scared …but it is so important.

We’ve told them..if in fact…that they are grabbed…or being forced against their will…..

that there is nothing for them to do but FIGHT back.

Yell…..scream….bite…kick and fight.

I told them the same thing my dad told me……..that the minute you are taken into that car….

your chances of getting out are pretty close to none.

Do not get into that car.

{i really do believe it’s best to be honest with my kids}

I would rather them die trying to get away….then to be taken away.

{no one wants to think about that….}

So…anyhoo….i’m just popping in today…to say how important it is to always be talking with

your kids about strangers and listening to their instinct….because it has a voice.

My kids listened to theirs…and because they did….they are sitting right here with me…..

and even though…we don’t know if in fact that the man who was watching them was indeed watching

them with a criminal intent…i would rather err on the side of caution..because it’s better to be safe…

then sorry. The kids were scared…and that’s not something to take lightly.


  1. I am so glad they followed their instincts!!! Good job instilling stranger danger into them. The bad guys don’t always look bad, that’s why people go against their instincts and “trust” them. When I was 8, I was by myself, and a man tried to get me into his truck…to the point of almost running me over to do so. We, too, filed a police report (apparently, the story was rain in the local paper), and I saw the man years later as I walked through (our very small) town. He was eating alone at a diner sitting next to the window. I almost soiled myself. With access to Megan’s Law, I looked up my hometown zip code years ago and saw the man’s face. He was one of the most dangerous type of child offenders. :-/ Perhaps you could go through your local Megan’s Law and see if the kids recognize the man. Chances are, if he had bad intentions, he lives nearby. Thank goodness, again, that they are okay. My heart was seriously pounding as I read this post.

  2. Your story sent chills down my spine. Your ‘teaching’ and ‘preaching’ paid off! I find it so sad that in todays world, children can’t just be children… to run free all day long with no cares in the world! Unfortunately that’s not the way it works today. Thank goodness your story had a happy ending. Thanks for posting this because it’s a good reminder to everyone how important it is to always be aware of your surroundings.

  3. this advice goes on forever…my daughter will turn 22 next week and I continue to reiterate the “be safe” “trust your instinct” gig!
    Boys feel like they are invincible – that nothing could ever happen to them eeeek
    Pat yourself on the back for good advice and good parenting!
    Have that second glass of wine and breathe a sigh of relief

  4. becky up a hill says:

    Thanks God this story has a happy ending. I agree. I used to go through drills with my young sons. I’d point out the most innocent looking old lady/man I could find in a public setting and we’d talk about how nice/kind she/he looked, then I’d say, BUT we really know if she/he has a good heart and you cannot trust someone just because they ‘look nice’…

  5. OMG it just makes my heart stop reading your post…… I’m so glad that your little ones came running into you, and as you say, the fact that they ALL came running and were all scared unfortunately might mean they did recognise something in him which they felt wasn’t right πŸ™

    One thing that I’m glad of is that I’ve learned something that I can pass on to my ds when he gets a little older (he’s just three), to fight, kick, and scream – it’s something so simple but something I probably wouldn’t have thought about.

    How do you feel about letting the children out front to play by themselves now after today? I think that I’d have them locked in the house after something like that

  6. Oh my goodness Kasey, how scary. The whole situation from the man to the kids running and the police and the talk. Very very scary.
    That is one of my biggest fears you know. My kids taken away. You hear so many horrible stories on the news (hence why I don’t watch it anymore) and see awful awful awful movies (which I refuse to watch now) with abduction and goodness knows what else.
    Sometimes I think: A nice big bubble would do us well. I’d make it cosy and we could live in it!!
    I so hope that the man parked outside was ok and not a weirdo. But if he was, I hope that he saw the policemen come into your house and he got the message that he’d better not mess with the Buicks.

  7. That is really scary. What a relief that nothing bad happened and that they are safe and sound. I also, can’t imagine how must have felt. What is also scary about abductions these days is that a lot of the times they abductor is someone that the child trusts. Such a scary thought.
    Glad you all are safe!

  8. How scary! I’m so glad they did the right thing. I’ll be giving mine a extra big hug today!

  9. You so did the right thing!!;) I am the same way when it comes to teaching my kiddos about strangers~ xo Rachel

  10. Thank goodness they’re ok….something I’m very aware of nowadays is posting my child’s picture online….many predators track down victims this way…’s not really that hard to do, especially if we’re posting information that gives all kinds of hints or outright information as to what city we live in, etc.
    These people are ruthless…..that’s why I don’t post many pics at all of our dd, my dh hates it when I do! Can’t blame him, it’s too scary out there anymore!

    • I’m not afraid of posting my children’s photos on my blog, and of course i understand your not wanting to.
      {we all need to make the best decisions when it comes to our family}
      It is scary out there…but kids are taken everyday that are not associated with blog photos…and as a matter of fact, I don’t know of one single instance where there has been a case of that…..but would appreciate it if you would email me any info you know of if there has been.

      • i don’t think i’ve heard of it happening either…but i wouldn’t want to be the first. i’ve worked in radio for almost 25 years…since before my kids were even born…and i’ve just always been conscious of the fact that for every thousand wonderful people who listen, there might be that one who wants to get just a little too close. we never know who’s listening…or reading. i’m not saying don’t post their pictures…just be careful and aware. it seems like you are.

        i agree with you about being honest about danger with your kids. when they were small i saw a chicago police officer talking about teaching your kids to kick a tail light out from the inside of a trunk. he said, ‘if we know your kid knows how to do this, our search can focus on cars with busted out taillights.’ my friends thought i was nuts that i would share this with my kids. i disagreed…i wanted them to know the risks and know how to protect themselves.

  11. Good job kids and mom., Makes me glad mine are grown. And makes me thankful we are so rural. My grandkids live far off the road. PTL your kids are safe. It is a scary world.

  12. Kasey I am so glad I happened here and reading. I am so so glad the 3 are okay and safe. Oh my heart. You know, I think there were other incidences during the course of our stay there in that surrounding area. Let’s hope the police stay real vigilant and figure this disturbed person out. See, being preachy about some subjects just need to be done! So glad they heeded your instructions.

  13. I’m glad that they came and told you. It is the right thing to tell them to fight, scream, kick, yell…..they have to know that. I have never forgotten that a guy on Oprah said that is they take you to another location (be it a child or adult) you are probably dead.

    Glad everyone is safe.

  14. terrifying. so, so, glad to hear they came right inside when scared. having kids is hard enough, but all the predators out there make it so scary to raise children. great post to remind everyone to talk with their children. i’m calling my son right now, even though he is turning 26 on monday…i’m still mama and i want him to be safe.

  15. Euhhh…scary stuff! I’m not sure if it was the Oprah episode mentioned in another comment, or if it was a different show where they said to tell your children that rather than screaming, “NO, NO!” (Which some kids yell regularly) They should yell, “STRANGER! STRANGER! STRANGER!” as they kick and fight. I think it’s a good idea too to check the books to see if the kids recognize a bad guy. Maybe it was just the meter man…but you never know.

    Good for them for running and telling you! : )

  16. Hi Kasey,
    Your kiddo’s did good! And so did you by listening to them, glad they are ok!

  17. Jeanette says:

    As I sit here this afternoon on our very quiet street my kids were playing out front. We had just gotten home from the movies and when we pulled up I noticed the next door neighbor had company. She had recently been placed in a nursing home, and her sons were going through her belongings. My kids were outside for 15 minutes or so, I had the door wide open listening to my little ones play. Pretty soon they run in the house. I asked – are you done playing outside?? My oldest says there was a strange man she had never seen before at our neighbors house, she got scared, came in and brought her little brother. I assured her it was ok, told her to go back out…it is so nice outside! I knew the guys were our neighbors sons. I am going to go talk to her right now and tell her she did the right thing. Always err on the side of caution. She was right to come in. I was wrong to try and have them go back out. I am glad your kids are ok! You are a good mommy.

  18. I’m so sorry you and the kids had to even experience this! I’ve said the same thing to my kids (cop family too). Some things we just can’t sugar-coat…

    I’ll be praying that no worries come into the hearts of your family… and bravery is in abundance!

  19. How scary! You and your kiddos did the right thing and prompted me to have that very important chat with my boys again right away. I’m glad they’re safe and thanks for the reminder

  20. I LOVE {with all capitals} what was instilled in you from your dad and what you are teaching yours…there is a close to none chance after getting in that car….a similar experience happened to me when I was probably Lola’s age…and did the same…so glad you did this post….and agree with everything you said and so glad you taught your kiddos to do the same…wish this wouldn’t have happened to you all but glad you shared it to help others
    much love to you family and hope Lola has a great night at the daddy daughter dance

  21. Kasey–I’m so proud of your kids and so proud of you. I will always remember hearing something (who knows where from) but it was about how animals-any time they sense danger-run the other way. Humans are the ONLY species that will talk themselves out of the danger sense they feel. We’ll keep walking and saying, “I’m just being crazy. Everything is fine.” We have natural instincts to protect us. Lola and Mason rocked it yesterday but listening to their instinct and that reflects on your parenting in raising great kids. I CANNOT imagine how terrifying yesterday must have been. I’m SO thankful you are ALL ok!!

  22. I have taught my kids the very same thing. Exactly. And my kids are very good about telling me about any weird people they see around. My kids are so nosy (haha) that they notice everything too. I’m so proud of your kiddos for doing the right thing. πŸ™‚ And I’m glad they’re okay.

  23. Yikes, that gave me the chills!!!!! I’m so so glad you have your smart kids sitting next to you and are able to tell the story to us all as a lesson. My daughter is only 15 months but I’m already prepping my “stranger danger” speech for her πŸ™‚

  24. I’m so glad you and your children are safe. It is sad when children can’t play outside anymore without supervision. I’m sorry you’ve had such a horrible experience, but as they say, “Adversity builds character.” I’m sure you all will be vigilant and safer for the experience.

  25. Sorry to hear about you and your children’s unnerving experience, Kasey!

    BUT…..I’m glad to know that they reacted in the proper way and that their mommy taught them VERY well!

    I was taught to run to the nearest house, should someone be after me. I was also taught to not get into anyone’s car. One time, I was offered a ride by a marriage-related relative, but am thinking I turned them down….been a LONG time ago that it happened!

    I have NO problem checking out vehicles near our house! Hubby says people can park there, BUT I still like to check things out if I am suspicious!

    It’s a good thing to have children question situations such as the one your children were involved in ……if the other party is offended so be it!

    BTW, hubby is in LE.

  26. I agree with Christy. You can go on your local sheriff’s dept.’s website and there should be a link that shows pictures and descriptions of every single sex offender in your area. I looked up our list and it even shows their employer and home adresses!…even the car they drive. Maybe the kids will recognize this guy!

  27. Whew, gave me the chills… so happy all is well.

  28. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. I will be sitting my kids down today to talk about the same thing.

  29. How scary!!! What brave kids and what a great mom to listen to them.

    Thanks for posting on this to remind us that things like this do happen. It just doesn’t happen to someone else.

  30. You did the right thing…listening to your children. The fact that they were scared is enough to listen to. I was almost abducted as a child playing in my front yard. I know what that fear feels like. Thankfully my mom listened too and called the police. I taught my children of the dangers out there too and to always pay attention to anyone out of the ordinary around them. I still have to remind them and they are ages 20-15 …but they ride the bus in the city, walk everywhere, and go out to parties on weekends. I worry more for my girls because they are very pretty. It’s a scary world we live in…keep talking to your children. You’re a great mom!!!!

  31. Heck yeah, you’re proud of those kids…and they should be proud of themselves, too! I’m sorry for the frightening experience they had{and you, too} but I’m so glad they trusted their instincts {and listened to their momma}. Safe & sound, thank God:)

  32. So scary, but such a good SMART ending! Proud of both your kids and you for listening to them!

  33. I am SO grateful that you posted this. I definitely need to give my 3 little kiddos a review of ‘stranger danger’…unfortunately, right? These are the times we live in. Your kids did a GREAT job and so did YOU! xo

  34. those are some awesome kiddos, those buick cuties!!
    if we could be neighbors, i would totally have brought over my killer dog brinkley to scare off the freak!!
    then we could all hang out inside & sip those life giving lemons out of our vodka lemonades with a twist.

    love you friend.

  35. Oh this gives me the shivers! What a frightening experience for your children. Well handled and what brave kids.

  36. Thank you for this post. It’s good to be reminded. My dad talked with me about this kind of stuff all the time as a kid, and I’ve realized that although it was scary, I was also as prepared as possible because of it. The thing that stuck is that he told me to scream at the top of my lungs “I don’t know you! You are not my daddy/mommy!” etc., similar to what other posters have described. He always recounted a story of a boy who was being abducted in a crowded movie theater lobby, but who had been taught to scream those very words. It’s easy to ignore or feel embarrassed about intervening when a child is just screaming or having what looks like a temper tantrum. Not so much when they’re screaming that this person is a stranger.

  37. Thank you for sharing your scary weekend! Kudos to your kiddos for trusting their gut instinct and coming in for help. Them running inside may have scared the bad guy enough to keep him away from your neighborhood for a while, and kept him from taking any kids. Sad to think that that is where our mind goes first, but in todays society……well…that’s a WHOLE nother post!
    Kudos to the kids and Kudos to you for listening!

  38. I’m so glad you are honest with your kids, making a safe place for them to voice their fears, helping them form a plan of attack in case they’re ever in trouble. I was not raised that way. I was raised to trust adults implicitly, especially men. I ended up being sexually assaulted twice by family friends and being terrified of men. I’m not afraid anymore. I’ve learned how to be wise, careful and brave. I’ve learned that I matter and am worth defending. I only have good men in my life now, men who have made me so comfy with GOOD men that I can spot the bad ones a mile away. You’re doing the right thing. πŸ™‚

  39. I remember as a kid walking home with my bestfriend, we saw a car stop and roll slowly towards us. I remember seeing a knife on the dashboard as the guy opened his door..
    Pretty obvious but even before that I remember my instinct kicking in, it didn’t so much in my friend but I told her to run. So we ran home.
    I’m so happy that you were able to clearly teach your kids to trust their gut and to go with their instinct. Sometimes we don’t even know why but something is just off and we have to trust that.

  40. How horrible.Thanks God the children were vigilant and aware of the creep. Even if the driver of the car was innocent, he should not have stopped near the children. May a choir of angels surround your house and protect you and your family

    Helen Tilston

  41. Yikes, reading through the comments, can’t believe how many people here remember scary incidents as children.

    I’m so glad your story and a happy ending, but I have to throw in my 2 cents.

    A (very intelligent) friend of mine who is educated in child development, says the “Stranger Danger” approach is not the best talk to have with our kids these days. Before you delete me (!), what I mean is: Say we get separated from our kids while shopping (my almost 5 yr old used to love to run away and hide in Costco when he was 2 or 3 – scary!), they can’t be afraid of all strangers. Chances are, they are going to need a stranger’s help to find mom/dad again, such as the “mom type” shopping with her kids, or the nice looking grandmother lady working in a store. We need to teach our kids the right kind of strangers to ask for help, and the ones who probably aren’t safe bets. And yes, even if that little old lady looks sweet, if our instincts say otherwise, get out of there!

    Have a good night and enjoy some extra moments tucking them in tonight. πŸ™‚

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