One of the worries we have with repatriating is that our children have grown up in a "bubble", meaning everything and everyone is good and safe. Sure, we traveled to some very "non-bubble" places, but that was just a blink of an eye in comparison to our 4.5 years in Japan. We have talked over and over with Sami and Chris about safety, talking to strangers, taking things from people. However, no matter how much we preach, they still slip back into their "bubble".
Last week Sami rode her bike to school with some friends for the first time.
Yesterday Matt and I ran to Costco and Home Depot. Upon our return Sami is waving to us as a SUV pulls away. Apparently Sami's little school friend came over, asked if Sami could come swim at her house and Chris thought nothing of the fact that we have no idea where this girl lives, what this girl's name was, or who were her parents. After Matt and I picked our jaws up off the floor Chris's response was "I told her to be home in 30 minutes". Both kids looked at us dumbfounded when we explained the safety concerns behind just letting Sami run off to who knows where with who knows who.
I am in no way saying the United States is this big scary place full of people just waiting to prey upon our children. What I am saying though, is we as parents shouldn't live in a "bubble". It's important we teach our children everything we can about keeping themselves and their friends safe. We can't afford not to.