This is Life, Based on a True Story  

Too scared to call for help

Picture this: you’re a parent to a young, beautiful teenage girl. 

She’s been pushing her limits and acting out — drinking, partying and going out with friends. 

You’re a good parent; you’ve acknowledged that she needs to be reined in and you’ve punished her appropriately for her misdemeanors.

You know that she knows what your expectations are and for the most part, she’s a good kid — just has those deviances once in awhile. 

You understand that sometimes what you don’t know won’t hurt you and that there’s likely more going on. But she has managed to stay safe so far and hopefully learn some lessons that only experience can teach.

Now, what if she were in trouble and were scared to call you?  What if she didn’t know who to call or was even scared to call upon the adult people she knew?

Here’s another scenario:

You’re out for dinner with your friend in downtown Kelowna. You’re looking for a parking spot, but it’s a busy, loud night. You circle the downtown core a few times when suddenly a young, beautiful teenage girl runs into the street and flags you down. 

You’re right in front of a bar/pub that’s well known for the wrong reasons and you’re not in what you’d consider a safer part of the downtown — you wouldn’t walk down there by yourself. 

The girl in is upset and crying. She doesn’t know you, but she is begging you to help her and take her home. 

She’s obviously scared and definitely desperate. She says she stopped your car because she could see it was two women inside and she needs to get home before her parents find out. 

You don’t know her, but you let her get into your car — your “parent-senses” are tingling and you know this girl needs help. 

As your driving her home, you learn that her friends left her alone, that she is well underage, and that she was in a dangerous situation that scared her and she knew she needed help pronto.

The whole drive home, all she would say is that her parents would kill her if and when they find out. That was why she never called them in the first place.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this scenario happened to me and my friend. We made sure this young girl made it into her house safely. I did speak to her parents over the phone.

They were very upset and understandably so. But their relief at having had someone stop and help their child was immense and went far beyond their anger. Even though that someone was a stranger.

This made me realize that this situation probably happens more than we think. If it were either of my kids, I’d be forever grateful to whomever helped them. 

I know we all want our kids to feel they can call on us any time, but sometimes they don’t feel they can.They know we’re going to freak out and that’s scarier than flagging down a stranger for help.

Which made me think….  What if there was a local network kids in trouble could access and it would connect them with another local parent who would help them — kind of like a Block Parent, but accessed via an app or other online means. 

There’s a lot of kinks and details that would need to be considered, but this could be a possibility. In the world of disconnect that we all live in, this could be a way for our kids to connect when they’re in trouble.

I ran the idea pass my kids and they said it was a good idea and would use it if they had to. So, if kids that age think it’s a good idea and something useful, then we may be onto something here. 

We all know our kids are going do stuff, a bit of a security blanket would be useful; both for them and for us.  Thanks for reading.


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About the Author

Tanya Gunderson has been writing for the heck of it for many years. Her inspiration comes from her kids, their friends and the craziness of life. She takes great pleasure in exposing life for what it really is and has an open-book approach to her writing.

Her formal education and background include a blink-and-you miss-it stint in the radio and television industry, but it gave her an opportunity to write professionally on a few different occasions.

Email: [email protected]



The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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