Protecting Our Children

Today, I am pleased to introduce writer, Steena Holmes, to Words from the Heart as promised in an early post this month.  Steena has just released her new book, Finding Emma, the story of how a parent who has lost a child lives with that loss and never gives up hope.

Before you read Steena's post, however, come along with Emma on a scavenger hunt! We're going to the Carnival! 

At each stop along Steena's tour there is a hidden word--something you would find at a fair or carnival. Find the word and enter it at the Scavenger Hunt page on Steena's website -
Each entry is an extra ticket to win! Need more clues? Join us at the Carnival Board on Pinterest ( where we will post images of the clues. Join in the fun by leaving your own favorite carnival pics! 

Read about prizes and additional details on The Muffin.(   

Steena has written, today, about protecting our children without leaving them fearful.  

Our roles as parents is to nurture and protect our children. With three daughters of my own, I tend to be over protective and shelter my children as much as possible. This is not always advantageous. My husband and I have always talked to our children about stranger danger and what they need to do if they were ever approached. 

My youngest daughter has had the unfortunate opportunity to test out what she has been taught, twice. Thankfully, she has always been safe and knew what to do. While as her mom, I was quaking inside and afraid to let her out of my sight both times, I knew it was important not to pass on this fear to her. 
So, how to we protect our children while keeping the fear from them?  

Learning to manage our fears is something that we need to learn as adults. It’s not always right to expect our children to be forced to learn an adult lesson, but they need to. Daily, they see images of missing children on posters, milk jug containers and postcards in the mail. The shows they watch are interrupted by Amber alerts that flash across their television screens or on the radio. They learn to grip the hands of an adult when they cross the road, are in the mall or jostled about by the crowds surrounding the clowns handing out balloon animals. 

One of the first things we can do as parents is to admit our own fears to our children and explain how we are dealing with that fear. For my family - we have a ‘safe’ word. They know that anytime an adult approaches them and say they were sent by us - they know to request this ‘safe’ word. We explain to our children why being safe is important and then teach them steps to ensure that safety - like locking the doors, always having their cell phone on - yes, they have a cellphone where our numbers are programed as well as our neighbors and the police.  
Sheltering our children is part of our jobs as parents, but, not to the point where it can hinder them. Our world isn’t as safe as we would like. Sometimes, that is hard for us to accept. Just as it’s hard to accept the thousands of children who are taken from their homes on a daily basis. 

My daughter, who is almost eleven years old amazes me. She has taken those experiences that scared her and funneled them into a direction that warms my heart. She wants to become a police officer for the K-9 Unit so that she can help to find children, who don’t know how to protect themselves. 

Thank you for letting me share part of my heart here. Finding Emma is a story that is very close to my heart and I am honored to be partnered with www.mcsc - Missing Children’s Society of Canada - to help reunite families who have been torn apart by child abduction. 

Author of the new heart wrenching story "Finding Emma", Steena Holmes is a woman who believes that 'in the end, everything the passions of your heart'. Steena's life revolves around her family, friends and fiction. 

Hash Tag: #FindingEmma



Jaden's Granny said…
Very smart Steena, What a great idea to use a secret password for your children to keep them safe. I just cannot imagine having a child to worry about nowdays. My son 33, was always getting himself lost. I remember going to a party at a car dealership in the daytime when he was about 8 yrs old, he disappeared and I was freaking out. A mechanic working that day mentioned he saw a little boy go to the back of the building with a basketball. Big relief! He wasn't lost, he was playing. But Mom here was sick for the rest of the day! I threatened attaching him with a leash, if I had a small one like him now, I probably would.
Dear Jaden's Granny,

I, too, had a similar event when raising my children. My daughter disappeared at the beach. I, literally, found myself praying that she had drowned, rather than being kidnapped by someone who would hurt her. After what seemed like hours, but what was probably only minutes, she was returned by a kind soul who had found her wandering around the boardwalk.

I think I aged twenty years that day!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Blessings, Linda

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