Carter and I experienced a scary situation the other day with a strange man at the park.
He and a little boy were playing in the sandbox. They were going back and forth between the sandbox and bathroom to fill up their containers with water so they could make a sandcastle. I was sitting on a nearby bench, when I had a strong feeling to go around the corner to the bathroom to check on the boys. When I got to the bathroom, there was a strange man holding the bathroom door open, watching the boys and mumbling to himself. He was clearly ill in someway, and it startled me. I didn’t say anything, but I did go to the door, and basically forced my way in between that man and the boys. He got a little startled, himself, and kicked a plastic orange juice bottle at my feet, mumbled a really unnerving phrase: “they come to get mother’s milk” and walked off quickly.
Long story short, I was thankful to have responded to that prompting to check on those boys.
On the way home from the park, Carter said to me, “Mom, there was a man watching us in the bathroom and I felt weird.” (Mind, you, I didn’t say a word during the whole ordeal, he just felt that things were ‘off’.)
My response to him was, “Yes, that was a very real feeling. That was your body and spirit telling you something was wrong. You need to listen to those feelings when you get them, and act upon them. If you have a feeling like that again, and I’m not near you, you come to find me immediately.”
This was just another manifestation to me that children are so sensitive and they just KNOW when something is not right. And it’s our job, as their parents, to help them recognize those protective feelings and help them find ways to respond to them as they occur.