The title of this piece is a bit sensationalist, thought it’s a very real issue. I like the article, though, for the specifics it has regarding ways we can “look out for each other’s children.”
Back when my 17 year old was 3 or 4, one time we were at a park with playgroup Moms & kids. There were some older kids there (older, as in age 8-10 : ) ) who were running around and knocking over toddlers and preschoolers. They weren’t trying to be mean, just having fun and oblivious to the consequences. I remember looking around, seeing no parents who seemed attached to these kids, and having an epiphany: “I’m the Mom. I can say something to these kids.” So I did. And the kids listened and stopped running into the little people.
While this particular moment had little to do with the safety of the “big kids,” the incident speaks to the ways that we *are* in community, the ways that we build community and cultivate safety simply by thinking: “If there’s a kid without an adult, I am willing to take action to look out for that kid.”
Have you ever helped a child in your neighborhood feel safe? It might simply be saying hello to them while they’re walking home from school. Some might call me a Pollyanna or naive, but I truly believe that these small choices we make day to day, week to week, are the building blocks of a safe community.