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This Mom’s Children Actually Listened to Her “Tricky People” Advice, Kept Themselves Safe

posted: 03/30/17
by: MIkayla Baiocchi

Every mom wants to know her kids listen to her, but this one found that out in a particularly frightening way.

Author and blogger Jodie Norton had taught her kids the "tricky people" rule, which she had learned from Pattie Fitzgerald's "Safely Ever After" program. This concept aims to reinvent the "don't talk to strangers" one by underscoring that the dangerous--or "tricky"--strangers are the ones that ask kids for help.

Two of Norton's children listened to this important guideline when they were sitting on a bench outside of the emergency room waiting for a neighbor to pick them up and take them to school. Norton was inside the building being treated for a ruptured ovarian cyst.

According to a blog post on Norton's website, her boys were approached by an adult female and "two punk males" who asked the kids to "help them out by going into the bathroom where her boyfriend was hiding from the doctor and see if they could convince him to come out and get treated."

One of her sons replied with a "no, thank you" to not one, but three different pleas. The group of adults finally let up and the neighbor showed up shortly afterwards, scooping the kids up. However, right before they left the ER, the boys saw a third adult male emerge from said bathroom, get into a car with the group of strangers and drive off.

While finding out about this shady encounter angered Norton, she was also "grateful."

She was happy to hear that the reason why her son said "no, thank you" to these strangers was because he recalled the "tricky people" rule. "Mom, I knew they were tricky people because they were asking us for help. Adults don't ask kids for help," her son CJ said to her.

"When it's all said and done, the phrase 'knowledge is power' undoubtedly applies to our kids keeping themselves safe," Norton wrote on her blog in the hopes that other parents can learn from this incident.