Several of you were quick to remind me of something after today’s post, and I’m so glad you did. It is critically important to use discernment when labeling your child’s belongings. Embroidering a name in large print on backpacks or clothing is a risky idea. Predators could use this as a tool to gain rapport with a child and make it look as if they know him. ("Hey Bobby, I’m a friend of your mom’s…" The thought leaves me cold).
I omitted an important detail about the bag tags I make for my children’s backpacks. The print is small enough that only someone standing right next to the child could read it–NOT someone observing from a distance . And part of our regular "stranger danger" discussion is the notion that just because someone knows your name does NOT mean he knows you. We discuss the fact that bad guys can be sneaky and learn your name in other ways. (Do discussions like this scare my kids? Maybe a little. But I’d rather have them scared and safe than comfortable and in danger). We take this issue so seriously that my husband, a kids’ soccer coach for years, does not allow his team to have names printed on their jerseys.
Please give this issue careful consideration when labeling your child’s belongings. Talk to them often about being safe.