The unthinkable happened!
I was at Walmart by myself with all 3 boys and like a typical 4-year-old my son got distracted by a toy on the shelf and didn’t hear me when I said we were moving onto the next aisle, nor did he notice that we had left. After moving down two aisles I turned to count heads and one was missing! Instant panic! I quickly moved back to the last place I saw him and he wasn’t there, as I felt the warm tears building up in my eyes turning the corner comes my son with a Walmart staffer in tow. I grabbed him up in my arms and held him tight as the tears flowed.
The lovely Walmart worker then told me that he came up to her and said, “My name is Nathan. I lost my Mom. Can you help me?”
While I was upset that this event occurred I knew that this meant that he does listen to me. This got me thinking, what are some of the things that I have told my boys over the years in a case of them getting lost.
I wanted to share our experience with you in hopes that it will help you and your family.
Here are some of the things that your child needs to know in the event that they get lost:
- Your phone number: This will probably be one of the quickest ways for someone to reach you in the event they have found your child. Drill that number into their heads. This also happens to be one of the things that schools like your children to know as they prepare to enter Kindergarten, so why not kill two birds with one stone.
- Your First & Last Name: I know that we live for the day to have someone call us “Mom” & “Dad”, but it is very important in the event of your child getting lost that they are able to tell people your full name. If they are lost in a store or a large event your name can be said over the speaker and you will be reunited with your child that much faster.
- Yell Out Your Full Name: This is another reason was number 2 is so important. When you are out in public with a child there are tons of Mom’s & Dad’s there. If you child gets lost if they are able to yell out your first name rather than “Mom” or “Dad” they are more likely to stand out in a crowd. Not only will it get the attention of others but it is more likely to caught your attention.
- Stay Where You Are: Let your child know that if they lose you that the best thing they can do is to stay where they are. As a parent your reaction (well besides panic) will be to retrace your steps and if your child stays put the quicker you will find them.
- Ask for help: Tell your child to watch for a staff person or another parent with children or a police officer and to reach out to them for help. Let them know that this is the one time that talking to a stranger is the right thing to do.