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Protecting Children's Identifying Information

Our last name is not on the mailbox or the front door of our house, and the home phone number remains unlisted. This is mostly because of the fact I am a child, adolescent and adult Psychiatric Registered Nurse. I work daily with children and adults in the legal system. I do not wish to chance that one of my patients would look show up on my doorstep. I am admittedly overprotective of my two earth angels. After you bury two children, you can be overprotective of later children.

It is my job is to protect my children. I will never apologize for doing what I feel is the right in keeping my children safe. When it comes to my children’s school, I do not list my children’s name, address, or telephone number in the student phone directory and only use my cell phone for the emergency number. The student phone book goes home to every child in the school. I do not know who lives or enters the homes of each child and sees the book lying around. I do not want my child’s personal information falling into the hands of a pedophile.

I listed my name and cell phone number when they were younger, that way they did not miss birthday parties or other events. Now they are older friends can personally invite them to birthday celebrations or other fun activities. I am still careful of whom my daughter sleeps over with and have never encouraged sleepovers unless it was at my own home or I personally know the family. I never let my daughter have a sleepover at my house if I will not be able to be there. I work nights and I do not wish to take a chance that someone may later claim something happened on the sleep over with my second husband.

There are many blended families today, I am a blended family, and my children’s father is a blended family. When families blend, new people enter the family dynamics, including older stepsiblings. I cannot begin to tell you how many stepfathers’ or boyfriends on a mom will try to touch adolescent girls. A sleepover leaves a child vulnerable.

As a parent, we must question different circumstances than in years past. We must teach children how to be safe in an unsafe world. Evil walks this earth and one can never know when he or she will cross paths with the devil, so we must teach children how to react if he or she feels unsafe. Teaching them to limit personal information is a good start.

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