Stranger Danger and Cussing Kids


No Cussing

Most mothers, and probably parents in general, would consider cussing in front of their children a bad habit.  The fear of children picking up the bad language causes some parents to curtail their use of profanity. But what if you purposefully taught your kid to cuss in order to save their life?

I know you’re probably giving me crazy looks right now, but just hear me out.

I was in the Wolfchase Galleria when I heard a piercing scream. I witnessed a woman pick a child up and walk hurriedly out of a store. In that moment I froze. A million statements ran thru my mind. What happened? Wow, that kid is loud. I bet she’s embarrassed. We’ve all been there. That kid’s day is definitely about to get worse in the car. But as she passed me, a sneaky question popped in my head…Is that her child?

We’ve all heard of stranger-danger. It’s basically what to do when approached by a stranger. Safety4Kids offers a lot of advice and resources for keeping your kids safe. Some methods ask the children to yell to draw attention to themselves, then run and tell someone. Safety4kids gives you scenarios about strangers on the computer, in cars, and even while playing outside in your yard. It’s a really cool resource, but I have some reservations. By the way, none of the strategies from Safety4Kids recommended teaching children to cuss. 

I’ve never seen a real child abduction and pray that I never will. Sometimes crimes on TV don’t happen like crime in real life. If you don’t believe me, you should read “True Life: I witnessed a crime and didn’t even know it.” This blog was written anonymously. In it, she tells the story of how she witnessed a crime being committed in her neighborhood, in broad daylight, and didn’t know it at the time.

When I wondered if that screaming child the woman was carrying was truly her child, it stopped my heart cold. How can I tell the difference between a child that has been abducted from a child who this throwing a tantrum because they don’t want to leave their favorite place? (Hmmm….do you see how cussing could fit into this scenario?)

I have seen some kids throw some serious fits. Once, this dad had to physical pick up his daughter to remove her from Imagination Playcenter. This girl was little, but she was strong.

As the dad was walking away, she was reaching back for Imagination Playcenter like Rose should have been reaching for Jack in Titantic!

As the dad got closer to the exit doors of the mall (which are visible from Imagination Playcenter), the stares he received became darker and darker. It was obvious that these people thought, “Is that his child he’s taking away? Is that why she’s screaming so loudly?” I knew that he was her father because I had been sitting next to him for two solid hours.

I asked myself, “What can I teach my kids to do if a stranger tries to force them to leave with them? What can they do to alert other people around that they aren’t just fussy children?” I have seen surveillance videos of children being abducted while their parents are just feet away. It is beyond frightening. The one thing that causes EVERYONE to turn their heads in any public situation is a cussing child. I know you have probably heard some kid cuss before. Whether it’s online or in public, it always makes you stop and look. And that’s what I want my kids to do. I want them to make people stop and look if someone is trying to abduct them. Therefore, along with the basic “stranger-danger” protocol, I am also tempted to teach my kids to cuss out any stranger who tries to take them anywhere. (I stress “tempted to teach my kids” because my husband is opposed to this idea.)

Just imagine, a stranger comes along and picks up my little child. She yells, but people only stare.

But what if she was fighting and cussing and yelling, “You’re not my #$^&* mom/dad. Help! Help! Help!” I guarantee that will turn heads.

I admit, this is not a traditional approach to “stranger-Danger,” but as Dave Chappelle say, “Modern Problem Require Modern Solutions.”


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Patricia is a Memphis native and LOVES Memphis to her core. She is the mom of 4 kids, Aiden (June 2008), Elliott and Elijah (January 2012), and Eve (November (2013). *Please ignore the lack of an age gap between the twins and Eve…things happen. Patricia is the wife of a tall, dark, and handsome man, Anthony. She graduate from the University of Memphis in 2007 and 2010, with a Bachelors degree in Exercise and Sports Science and a Masters Degree in Arts in Teaching. She earned her Library Endorsement from the University of Knoxville (hooray for online education.) Patricia is a school librarian and a blog writer, She loves to read, write, read, cook, read, run, read, travel, read, and hang out with Memphis. Yes, you read that right, she likes to hang out with the entire city. Life has dealt Patricia a series of highs, lows, and “why-me” moments, but you will never catch her without a smile in eyes, ignited from her soul within.