I Lost Kib....Again

By Mommy Donna and Kib - January 12, 2019

I once said, "Every child will experience getting lost in his/her lifetime."

My mom said that I also got lost when I was three years old at SM Makati.  She and my aunt went to the restroom and told me not to go anywhere.  But when they went out of the restroom, I wasn't on the place where they left me.  They looked around and saw me at the stationery section, which somehow explains my liking for stationery stuff when I was growing up, hihi.

We have heard a lot of horror stories about kids getting lost and it takes days, weeks, or even months to be found.  Sadly, some of the kids who got lost were never found anymore.  The experience is both traumatic for the child and the parent.  We all know the dangers of kids losing our sight in public places, that is why as much as possible we wanted not to keep our eyes away from our children.  We always hold their hands tightly, or even let them wear some gadgets to make them feel safe and secure and they are only within our reach especially in public areas.

Yes, Kib wasn't even spared from this horrific experience.

When he was five years old, he got lost inside Forever 21 boutique at SM Megamall.  He just ran and ran around the clothing racks while me and my mom were busy checking out some clothes.  He didn't notice that we were already moving from one rack to another.  When we realized that Kib is no longer following us, we started looking for him inside the shop.  I was not that scared because I know the security guards won't let a small child get out of the store without an adult companion.  After few minutes we found him crying, with a sales clerk helping him to find us.  He repeatedly saying, "I'm missing! I'm missing! Mommy you lost me!"  It was a learning experience for both of us.

After that incident, I taught Kib on what to do just in case he gets lost again.  I told him to approach a security guard and memorize my mobile number, home phone number, and home address. 

Very recently, Kib and I got separated at SM Megamall....again.  This time it was outside the mall, walking from one store to another.  Kib doesn't have any mobile phone (I banned him from using gadgets months ago because he was easily distracted.  He doesn't prioritize his studies and has more time using his mobile phone than doing his chores).  He was walking behind me.  While I told him that we were going to the grocery, I thought he knew where it is.  He also never saw me turning left towards Gong Cha.  When I realized that we were separated, I went to the place where we were supposed to go, but he wasn't there.  That is the time I started to get worried.  I prayed to the Lord to keep him safe.

Thankfully, my son knows what to do.  

He approached a security guard and asked him to contact me.  The guard doesn't have a mobile phone with him so he asked help from one of the people walking to contact me.  Kib knows my mobile number so the couple whom the guard approached to help my son contacted me.  I immediately went to the rendezvous point and thanked the guard and the couple who helped my son.

I asked Kib how did he feel about the incident, if he got scared or what.  He said he was chill and was quick to think of an action because he's already twelve years old, haha.  

While I trust Kib that he already can solve problems on his own, it is also a reminder for me NOT to be trusting to the environment.  I was walking too fast that my son lost sight of me.  On our way home, we reviewed the to-do things when we get separated from each other.

Let us teach our kids the the things that they need to do should they get separated from their parents:

1.  Let your child memorize your name, mobile number, complete home address.  If you have home phone too, let your child memorize that too.  If your child is not yet capable of memorizing, let him/her wear an ID or dog tag with your information written on it.
2.  Instruct your child on who to approach (police, security guard, or the information desk).
3.  If your child gets lost in a during a trip (hoping not!), if it is a local trip, same procedure with #1 and #2, but if in another country, let your child memorize the hotel's name and address.
4.  If your child gets lost inside a store, tell your child to NEVER go out of the store premises and approach any personnel working in the store (sales clerk, security guard).
5.  I've read in one of the posts to take a photo of your child every time you go out so that you can easily describe the last set of clothes he/she is wearing.

6.  Tell your kid to speak in a loud voice in public should there be any strangers approaching him/her and telling that they know where his/her parent is.  Remind your child to only approach persons in authority (see #2).
7.  Lastly, always cover our kids in prayer.  Always pray our kid's safety whenever they are out of the house.  

Teaching your kids on what to do when he/she gets lost is not a self-fulfilling prophecy that your child will really get lost.  Being street-smart is a skill that I believe each and every individual must learn.  Not everyone is street-smart (even adults) so having this skill is something that will help your child to be confident when he/she is on the streets.  Yes, you will say that "iba na ang panahon ngayon, di katulad dati" but at least you have some confidence that your child can survive the urban jungle on his/her own.  It also builds self-confidence and independence on the part of your child.

God bless you always!

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