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What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers

What Would You Do? A Kid's Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers
Keeping Children Safe

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Great Review of My Book in the Examiner

Please read the excellent article written about my book by Dr. Sue Cornbluth, a writer for The Examiner. The article Dr.Cornbluth wrote is called “Protecting Our Children: A Great Book For Parents & Teachers By Melissa Ridenour”

As you know, seeing our children succeed and protecting them from harm is one of my deep passions in life. I always like to highlight other advocates’ work that empowers others to succeed at this goal. Melissa Ridenour is one of those people who has written a wonderful book called, “What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers.” In her own words, “The book explains the concept of “stranger” to children in a reassuring way and teaches strategies to empower children to take a proactive role in staying safe from predator harm. It is ideally meant to be a shared experience between parent and child or between teacher and student. The book includes a chapter for parents and teachers as well.

Melissa says, “The creation of the book began with a traumatic memory from her childhood. When my best friend and I were in the fifth grade, more years ago than I care to think about, I awoke on a Monday morning to my mother having to explain to me that I wouldn’t see my friend in school anymore. She explained to me, as gently as she could, that my friend had been abducted, assaulted, and murdered the evening before. That was a difficult thing for me to understand at that age. But the trauma stuck with me thereafter. As a child, when I would walk to school, I would have to pass the spot where my friend’s body was discovered. I remember for the longest time running, terrified, past that spot each time. Adding to the tragedy of the story is the fact that her mother, the next year, committed suicide by hanging herself. She was never able to cope with the loss of her daughter, especially in such a violent way.
That haunting memory has always affected me, even as I became a mother myself. One of my greatest fears as a young mother, and even now that my children are grown with children of their own, is that something similar could happen to my children or grandchildren. That fear, combined with the alarming statistics regarding missing and exploited children is the second reason that prompted me to write a book that would teach children to take a pro-active role in staying safe from abduction, and to help parents and other care givers learn how to keep children safe from abduction or harm.”
Melissa knows about what she writes and speaks. She is a passionate advocate for protecting our children. Her book, “What Would You Do? A Kid’s Guide to Staying Safe in a World of Strangers”, is easy to read and gives you great tips on how to protect your children. The book can be purchased through the publisher, (Headline Books, Inc.), Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Follett, Ingrams, and Baker & Taylor. More information about Melissa and her book can be accessed at Melissa Harker Ridenour Books –
Thank you Melissa for your great work!
Dr. Sue
Access to Melissa Harker Ridenour Books:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Help Your Children Cope with Divorce

“I had a really good childhood up until I was nine, then a classic case of divorce really affected me.” (Kurt Cobain)
Just as it is of paramount importance to help children learn how to stay safe from abduction, abuse or any kind of predator harm, it is also important to help children learn how to cope with situations involving their parents getting divorced.
Children who don’t understand the reasons that their parents are divorcing find the situation to be extremely distressing. Divorcing parents, however, can make the effects of divorce less painful for their children.
How parents tell their children about a pending divorce is critical to the children understanding and coping in an emotionally healthy way. Parents should reassure them that their love for them hasn’t changed and never will. Parents should assure children that they will continue to care for them and love them no matter what.

Parents should warn their children that some things may change and that there may be some logistical problems, but the family will work together through each detail and problem as they arise.
Parents seeking divorce should approach it amicably and try to maintain a civil and even friendly relationship afterwards, for the sake of children involved. Parents should endeavor to make children understand that the divorce is not the children’s fault, and children shouldn’t be made to feel as if they are losing a parent. Divorcing parents who maintain a healthy, amicable relationship can more effectively help their children heal from the shift in their lives.
Divorced couples should try to maintain communication with one another. Above all, parents who are divorcing should avoid using the children as pawns or speaking badly about one another in front of the children. Keep it civil, and keep it real.

(Picture credit - S. Braswell)