Blogger and author Jodie Norton, residing in southern Utah, recently recounted a harrowing experience involving her two sons that left her feeling both sick and grateful. One morning, Jodie was struck by severe abdominal pain while showering, prompting her to rush her 10 and 8-year-old boys to the hospital. She contacted a neighbor for assistance, but a misunderstanding led to her sons waiting outside the emergency clinic for 40 minutes.
Later, she discovered that during this time, her boys had encountered three strangers—an adult female and two males—who tried to lure them into the bathroom, claiming they needed help convincing a man to seek medical attention. The boys firmly declined, adhering to a family rule they had learned: “Adults don’t ask kids for help.”
Jodie’s eldest son, CJ, explained that he recognized the individuals were “tricky people” due to their request for help, as adults typically wouldn’t seek assistance from children. This knowledge was derived from a concept called “tricky people,” which educates children about identifying concerning behavior rather than solely focusing on the concept of strangers. Created by Pattie Fitzgerald, founder of Safely Ever After, the concept encourages parents to teach their children about the actions of “tricky people,” emphasizing that even adults can fall under this category.
Jodie was both shocked and grateful as her sons recounted the incident and how their awareness of “tricky people” had potentially saved them from a dangerous situation. The boys’ vigilance and adherence to the family rule prevented them from falling into the strangers’ trap. Jodie praised her son for their quick thinking and for following the safety advice she had imparted to them.
Jodie assured her readers that the police were informed about the incident, and they would be reviewing the hospital’s CCTV footage to gather more information about the strangers’ actions. Jodie’s story serves as a poignant reminder of the importance of teaching children how to recognize and respond to potentially dangerous situations, helping to keep them safe and informed in an increasingly complex world.