Phil asks us how well we know the people we are turning the care of our children over to. He runs off a list of folks we might be entrusting the wellbeing of our kids to, which includes more than just school teachers and the babysitter. Dr. Phil lists athletics coaches and religious leaders as potential people we might be leaving our children alone with; asking how well we have checked all of these people out. Are they setting off alarm bells in our gut? Even if they aren’t; are we sure they really are who we believe them to be?
Phil tells us here, too, that we should teach our children in terms that they will understand; it’s not ok for people to touch them any place their bathing suit covers and what to do when they get a bad feeling about being alone with an adult. We might have to define bad feeling for them, helping them to recognize their own physiological symptoms of fear. We also should be (in Dr. Phil’s mind) teaching them about what to do when they are approached by strangers out on the street when they are alone, etcetera.
In short; what McGraw is saying is that we need to give our children permission to say no to adults. These would be adults who are either giving them a funny feeling or are asking them to do things they have been taught are inappropriate to do. Philip points out that unfortunately telling a child to mind adults, simply because they are adults, just isn’t cutting it in this world anymore. Sure! A kid might attempt to use this type of defensive behavior to their advantage. However, we are assured here that to teach them the way we were taught is more like feeding them to sharks in today’s world.
The name of the game here, according to Dr. Phil, is to teach your children how to live their lives intelligently and safely. This way they will eventually be equipped to do so when you’re not around.
That is pretty much the bottom line when it all comes down to it. And, when you stop to think about it; do predators go after children who are part of a group? Does your child know what to do if they find themselves alone unexpectedly with a stranger?