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  #21  
Old 01.09.2011, 14:31
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

How sad- I totally agree that 4 year olds should not walk alone to school. Here the older kids take the little ones with them, so that is fine. I must say should I have witnessed this, I would have talked to the teacher at the school and asked for advice (and probably be told that I am an old nosy busy-body witch - but wouldn't care about that).

As so often, from the sublime to the bl****y ridiculous. Why is there so rarely a good compromise between the two. In the UK one of the biggest dangers to kids before or after school was the parents! parking on double yellow lines or even the pedestrian crossings- picking up teenagers who lived less than a mile from home and could barely waddle to said car.
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Old 01.09.2011, 14:46
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

Well, there is a nice system back home, we have almost free day care and school starts at 6yr and then recess till 5 is also free. But, the country is going down, since the folks who do these kinds of jobs, teaching included, are paid so little they cannot have normal life. Country will not have the cash for it soon, anyways.

I was so proud to get into work mode here so quickly, awesome, but what now, when despite the recess we pay, kiddo is still uncovered for the full time. The forgotten clothes, back packs and not eaten snacks (we at 6yr knew we need to eat snacks, but our teacher just lets them out to play outside, a 4 yr old does not realize breaks are for food )..it's still ok if she forgets all her stuff in the school. But what I don't like is the fact that overpriced recess could at least fetch the smallest kids around the corner, instead of hanging there with big kids at the parent area and chitchatting, while the wee ones have to find their way around.

Good tip, Odile, I will do that. I am afraid I will be told to quit working and fetch our baby myself just to deliver her to our expensive recess..grannies, where are you, we so can use your help!

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Old 01.09.2011, 14:57
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

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I have walked to work and still do, a few kms from the station. I have timed my train arrivals in the morning, to walk with a 4yr old stranger who evidently was pushed to learn to walk by herself to school. She cried for weeks, walking slowly and glued to the side of the houses, scared of the giant busy road with heavy traffic that's right next to the side walk. When she got used to me, I never told her anything, I was either little behind her or after, she gradually stopped crying. She was terrified of the traffic. Cops, teachers and parents can say whatever they want, but 4yr olds will be 4yr olds. I think sometimes we just want too much from them, when we rely solely on their common sense that they didn't have time to develop yet. This little plan to pay super expensive parascolaire, to patch the lunch times, etc for working family does not seem to work, if kids still have to walk by themselves to the parascolaire and when the parascolaire staff cannot actually see if somebody is snatching them or not. We also had kidnapping cases in bearby GE and FR border towns a few years back.
The idea of a 4 year old being forced to walk alone when clearly she doesn't want to makes me feel so angry . What on earth were the parents thinking? My son walked alone from when he was 5 1/2 - and he begged me to let him do it. I would never have forced the issue. And we did it very gradually - I walked part way for a long time even after then. And he had to prove to us that he could really do it.

Jamie was at after kindergarten care also - at the local daycare (Tagi) - but they pick the kids up from the kindergarten door. Having said that though, we did have one incident - my son told his KG teacher that we were going on holiday a day before we actually were and that he was supposed to go home instead of to Tagi (which would have been right for the following day!) The teacher then said that to the Tagi person picking him up and my son walked home to an empty house. He then realised and walked by himself back to Tagi (it's close to the KG). Nobody phoned to confirm it with me (even though it was contrary to what I had personally told them beforehand) they just assumed he (the 6 year old!) knows what he's doing.

The thing is, there are risks and we know them, but at the end of the day we have to try not to let these things ruin our kids lives and we do the best we can. Sometimes our solutions are not ideal - as long as we listen to our kids and what they feel OK (or not OK) about doing - in terms of walking alone and being independent I mean - then I think we shouldn't feel too guilty.
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Old 01.09.2011, 15:03
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

Anyone hear of the 'Sex Box'?
http://bmonculture.wordpress.com/201...n-of-children/

A new article about this controversial program going to be implemented here in Switzerland. Introducing children as young as 4 to sex education.

Scroll down to see our very own The Local's report from Basel.
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Old 01.09.2011, 15:03
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

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I am afraid I will be told to quit working and fetch our baby myself just to deliver her to our expensive recess..grannies, where are you, we so can use your help!
I'm afraid that is what the system is designed to do, keep you at home at all costs. Even under the guise of 'parascolaire', it does not really come close. I once called our coordinator to sign my child up for the parascolarie on Wednesday afternoons, when she responded that there wasn't parascolaire on Wednesdays, I laughed and said you are joking right--nope with a straight tone she said no, not on Wednesdays, when I quickly got out of there as quick as possible.
One alternative, an older sibling or neighbor child to chaperone your little one perhaps.
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Old 01.09.2011, 15:12
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

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The idea of a 4 year old being forced to walk alone when clearly she doesn't want to makes me feel so angry . What on earth were the parents thinking? My son walked alone from when he was 5 1/2 - and he begged me to let him do it. I would never have forced the issue. And we did it very gradually - I walked part way for a long time even after then. And he had to prove to us that he could really do it.

Jamie was at after kindergarten care also - at the local daycare (Tagi) - but they pick the kids up from the kindergarten door. Having said that though, we did have one incident - my son told his KG teacher that we were going on holiday a day before we actually were and that he was supposed to go home instead of to Tagi (which would have been right for the following day!) The teacher then said that to the Tagi person picking him up and my son walked home to an empty house. He then realised and walked by himself back to Tagi (it's close to the KG). Nobody phoned to confirm it with me (even though it was contrary to what I had personally told them beforehand) they just assumed he (the 6 year old!) knows what he's doing.

The thing is, there are risks and we know them, but at the end of the day we have to try not to let these things ruin our kids lives and we do the best we can. Sometimes our solutions are not ideal - as long as we listen to our kids and what they feel OK (or not OK) about doing - in terms of walking alone and being independent I mean - then I think we shouldn't feel too guilty.
I think 5 1/2 is reasonable. Right now, as we found out, she cannot even think about putting her clothes on when leaving school or picking up her bag, in fact I think we shouldn't expect it from her. Why, so early. The teacher does not check even if the child reacher her destination, the person who gets our child later, after she reaches the recess meeting point has zero idea if she dropped something on the way, stopped to play or grabbed all her clothes/school things.

The thing is, if we get a sitter, say at 15fr an hour, it will be the same price, but she won't most likely learn French, and, she won't hang out with kiddos, but she won't have that responsibility to take care of herself and walk to find the recess liason lady. They are supposed to get them at the door, me thinks, and are not doing it so they can hang out and talk to parents of kids who used to use their services. It is easier for the bigger kids, but not for the wee ones. I will have a talk with the recess people.
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Old 01.09.2011, 15:14
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

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I'm afraid that is what the system is designed to do, keep you at home at all costs. Even under the guise of 'parascolaire', it does not really come close. I once called our coordinator to sign my child up for the parascolarie on Wednesday afternoons, when she responded that there wasn't parascolaire on Wednesdays, I laughed and said you are joking right--nope with a straight tone she said no, not on Wednesdays, when I quickly got out of there as quick as possible.
One alternative, an older sibling or neighbor child to chaperone your little one perhaps.
Well, our parascolaire does wednesday, they were extremely interested to push it on us, when they figure out we are in the high brackets, on paper.So, cash is interesting for them. But actually maknig sure they get the kids at the school door, no. I don't get it.
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Old 01.09.2011, 15:25
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

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On a percapita basis Switzerland has the highest amount of pedophiles in Europe. Thats according to the UN.....

http://www.20min.ch/news/ausland/story/24554809
That's about sex tourism. Persumably they go abroad, because they don't want to get caught here. It doesn't mean that it's more dangerous for children here. Further, this article is about men who go after underage girls - which isn't necessarily the same as paedophilia, which, AIUI, is about pre-pubescent children.

The question is whether the danger here in Switzerland, is particularly high, in comparison to other countries. Are there more abductions, is there more abuse?
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Old 01.09.2011, 15:27
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

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That's about sex tourism. Persumably they go abroad, because they don't want to get caught here. It doesn't mean that it's more dangerous for children here. Further, this article is about men who go after underage girls - which isn't necessarily the same as paedophilia, which, AIUI, is about pre-pubescent children.

The question is whether the danger here in Switzerland, is particularly high, in comparison to other countries. Are there more abductions, is there more abuse?
We will know, when these things won't go under reported. Same with mobbing at work, sexual harassment, bullying in schools, domestic violence and violence against animals.
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Old 01.09.2011, 15:47
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

I already said my story, but in case and because it is a lot to learn from it....

When I was young, my mom used to read me books and cassettes of what to do if.

The main concern back then was what to do in case of fire, which we practice at home by pretending we had a fire. And what to do if someone wants to touch me, grab me or kidnapping me.

We went to Walt Disney in Florida. I got loss in a store, couldn't see my parents. I began to panic and a woman took my arm and grabed me straight in the street. No introduction, no attempt to calm me down, nor to ask the help of the people in the store (customers and workers). She just grabed me very strongly and rushed me in the street and in a backstreet.

I tried to talk to her, to get away from her, she was very strong and forced me to follow her. I saw she had sandals with naked toes. And what my books and my mom taught me was to hit where it hurts. So I step very hard on her toes. She screamed and lost my hand for a moment. I ran back to the store where it was a big commotion to try to find me.

I was very very very lucky, I can't believe still of what happened and the meaning of what would have been my life if I didn't know what to do. I am 1000% sure that my luck is very due to what my mom and the books and the schools taught me over and over again.

So don't let to the school the responsability to teach your kids what to do and when, that is YOUR job.
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Old 01.09.2011, 16:06
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

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The idea of a 4 year old being forced to walk alone when clearly she doesn't want to makes me feel so angry . What on earth were the parents thinking? ...
Well, there some people who think "I did this and I am ok", nostalgically want to push kids into the same, are proud of themselves that they managed when 4 way back, or are just unkindly thinking roughing it up is healthy for kids...who knows. But people forget how different world is now. The era of setting things up via airborn communication that takes seconds these days, kids walking from school checking their emails on the way and chatting with strangers online...ugh. Traffic is different, urbant planning, too. I cannot imagine I would want my child going through the same experience as me, having her nose broken by evil commie militia recess wench...world is changing. The safety set up too, otherwise we are exposing our kids too much. I could care less for actual stats on safety. Just have to figure out the MO of recess talk, since they will think I am one crazy furin mom. (actually it was a local mom who raised the issue with pick up to our teacher when we started, good for her).
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  #32  
Old 01.09.2011, 16:23
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

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I attended the police visit to the kindergarten today as I was interested to see what was covered. I was a cop in my previous existence and it was at the kindergarten teacher's invitation and suggestion that i can along as i was curious about what would be covered.
The female officer who attended was great. She fully engaged the kindergartners with her hand puppet and did a very thorough job of teaching road safety. She had a roll out road with crossings and they all practiced prior to going down the road and crossing the road one by one.
We returned to the classroom and she spent several minutes talking about strangers. she covered who was a stranger and was very clear that it could be a man or lady. She covered several scenarios from sweets, to puppies to the classic I know your mum and she asked me to pick you up in my car. She covered who to tell and what to say. That you can shout Nei, Herauf, say loudly I don't know you etc . She even covered good and bad secrets - comparing the Mothers Day suprise for mummy with the person who hurts a child and says not to tell anyone. Considering this was a class of 4 and 5 years old I felt that the topic was covered in a very age appropriate manner.
At the end of the day it is up to the parents to equip their children with the knowledge to deal with the "what ifs". I have told my kids for example that if I couldn't pick them up I would never ask someone they didn't know to pick them up ever.
But also keep in mind that by far the largest percentage of child abuse is from within the family or friendship circle and not a random stranger attack. Your children need to understand boundaries for their bodies and affections - never easy and a continuous and ongoing thing.

just my twopenneth
Caz
You put this very well...after reading some of these post it seems like parents want the "teachers to take on the responsibility." The culture in Switzerland is different and authorities expect parents to take on a very "serious" role in raising their children and not depending on the government to do everything for them. Mostly parents from UK and USA are over hyped and still think that what happens there happens in Switzerland. What I find great is that parents will receive a letter and it always says the perpertrator "tried" to get the child, they seem to never succeed. That's because Swiss children are more independent and mature. In all my years in Switzerland I have never heard of a perpertrator succeeding. Children walk alone to school....etc. Something that you can forget about in many other countries. Many times foreign parents don't try to understand the culture of the society and the way the children are, they just want everything how they want it and to them it's bad if it isn't. As you stated the majority of the time it's someone close to the family that harms the child...
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Old 01.09.2011, 16:26
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

Is there an older child who goes to the same lunch/after school group- who could wait for her and walk with her, perhaps MC?
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Old 01.09.2011, 16:45
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

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Is there an older child who goes to the same lunch/after school group- who could wait for her and walk with her, perhaps MC?
Nope, they are all very spazzy and small. The other, older classes are way on the other side of the building. The smallest ones have to get their stuff and walk around the building and to the meet up point by themselves, across the playground, though, where I can imagine they stop and play. It's kinda adjustment phase, I just wish they recess adults actually got the smallest kids at the door. All those little 4yr olds are unfocused dreamers, wanting to play, ignoring the fact they should eat, wear clothes, get their backpacks, hats..
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Old 01.09.2011, 16:50
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

Arrgh I feel for you. Maybe you could ask if they would consider sending one of the adults to pick the little ones up. On the other (positive) hand, your and the other little ones will soon get used to it and become very self-reliant and responsible in the process- and that has to be good in the long term.
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Old 01.09.2011, 17:15
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

people in switzerland and in general swiss woman who work in the kindergarten, kinderkrippe are really really relax, they dont think in something can go wrong .
The last year after i have some news from a man in a park and trying to take a little girl i colaps...
I buy her a gps , and put it in the pocket from her, after a wile the people from the krippe wanna kill me, they even call me for a meeting to my husband and I, now am the crazy mother...
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Old 01.09.2011, 17:30
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I, now am the crazy mother...
Indeed.
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Old 01.09.2011, 17:52
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

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You put this very well...after reading some of these post it seems like parents want the "teachers to take on the responsibility.
I hope you do not think I was implying this in my earlier posts in this thread. I have repeatedly discussed the dangers of strangers with my child. What I would like is for the school to step up and share in this responsibility especially when they have information regarding current dangers and/or have the opportunity to discuss such issues when, for example, the local policeman is visiting the school.

I also do not entirely agree that here in CH, parents are expected to take on a "very serious" role in raising children. Indeed, as a parent, I often struggle to not feel myself excluded from the usual duties I would associate with raising my child - such as accompanying him to and from school until a later age than is expected here, such as assisting with homework (we are persistently told not to even check that our child has done his homework) such as supporting the messages given to him at school (on issues such as bullying, road traffic awareness etc). In my mind, once my child goes to school, the job of guiding them through adulthood is partly (and only partly) shared with the school, but all too often I feel myself excluded from everything that goes on during school hours and not welcome if I try to assist (eg with school trips).

I just have to accept that there is a different culture towards responsibility not just of the child, but also for the child.

Many posts on this thread have demonstrated that this is not a country wide thing and many parents are reporting really sensible initiatives being taken by the schools particularly in regard to the subject of this thread. But no sane, thinking parent would EVER think that responsibility for their child's safety resided solely with the school.
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Old 01.09.2011, 18:07
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

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Mostly parents from UK and USA are over hyped and still think that what happens there happens in Switzerland. What I find great is that parents will receive a letter and it always says the perpertrator "tried" to get the child, they seem to never succeed. That's because Swiss children are more independent and mature. In all my years in Switzerland I have never heard of a perpertrator succeeding.
Wish you were right but you are not. Ylenia Lenhard was kidnapped in July 2007, apparently in just such a way.

(I'm kind of surprised you don't know about this, it was in all the papers at the time and was also the case that inspired some Swiss groups - Swiss groups, mind you, not these pesky over-hyping non-integrating foreign types - to call for the introduction of an "Amber Alert"-type system.)

Let's be sensible, not be paranoid, I agree - but claiming that "it doesn't happen here" is neither true nor responsible.
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Old 01.09.2011, 18:09
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Re: Letter from school warning parents about strangers

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Wish you were right but you are not. Ylenia Lenhard was kidnapped in July 2007, apparently in just such a way.

(I'm kind of surprised you don't know about this, it was in all the papers at the time and was also the case that inspired some Swiss groups - Swiss groups, mind you, not these pesky over-hyping non-integrating foreign types - to call for the introduction of an "Amber Alert"-type system.)

Let's be sensible, not be paranoid, I agree - but claiming that "it doesn't happen here" is neither true nor responsible.
I don't think she can get the 20 Minuten in upstate New York...
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