Skip to content

Stranger Danger …The Talk

December 9, 2008

When is the right time to have the “stranger danger” talk with your child? I’ll be honest, I really thought we would never have to worry about this with the Big One. She has always been very shy around people. Whether she knows you or not, it typically would take her a very long time to be comfortable enough to even say hi to someone. But recently that all seems to be changing.

When we were at the girls’ well-child appointments last week, the Big One gave the nurse a big hug when we left. Now this is a man who just gave her a flu shot and gave her sister three shots. Neither of my girls appreciated getting their shots so the fact that she then hugged the man right afterward skeeved me out a bit. Yes, he did giver her stickers and a lollipop which I am sure helped her “no fear” attitude.” And while I am fairly confident that “Jim” is not a sick pedophile, the point remains, the Big One doesn’t know this man, yet she was comfortable enough to give him a hug goodbye.

Of course the Husband and I were right there with her, so there was no harm done, but it got me thinking about the what ifs. I don’t want to freak her out about people she doesn’t know, but definitely want her to be safe.

The doctor’s office incident wasn’t the only thing that got me thinking about it. Part of this lack of fear is probably my fault. Wherever we go, we seem to attract attention and I always encourage the girls to be friendly and talk to the people who always want to talk to us. But again, I am right there with them so no harm is done.

What if by encouraging her to talk to people we don’t know, I am inadvertently setting her up for a dangerous situation? I will not always be with her, ready to go all “Momma Bear” on anyone who tried to hurt her.

So now my mommy guilt and mommy worry have me thinking where is that fine line between being friendly and being unsafe? I certainly don’t want her to be afraid of people, but I certainly don’t want her to wander off with anyone who offers her a sticker or lollipop.

Anyone got any great tips on the talk and timing of the whole “stranger danger” concept? I think we are going to become hermits until I figure it out.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Stacie permalink
    December 9, 2008 2:28 pm

    Not sure how you feel about Dr. Phil, but he’s got some information about how to have ‘the talk”.

  2. December 9, 2008 2:59 pm

    Oy! That is a hard one!

    My mom used to joke that my brother would go home with the UPS man some day. He completed trusted strangers, and it freaked her out. I think it’s good to have a talk with her about how she should never go somewhere with someone who is a stranger. Maybe explain that her mommy and daddy would not know where she was. I don’t have any other hints on “how to” though.

  3. December 9, 2008 4:22 pm

    We are struggling with this too.

    Stevie wants to talk to everybody. DH does not help this one bit because he is the social butterfly and will talk to anyone, anywhere. He is crazy extroverted.

    I will ask my mom how she approached the stranger danger talk with me. It must have worked because I don’t talk to people I don’t know (except on the internet of course) unless there is no other choice.

  4. Karen permalink
    December 10, 2008 10:17 am

    This doesnt coverit all, but we decided that we would introduce adults we trust (our friends, basically) as “Mr or Mrs ___”. We figure this will – eventually – indicate some sort of respect and authority that these people should be given . People we DONT know are just “Jim” or “Sally” or whatever. The point is that we dont want to introduce a stranger as “mr smith”. i have no psychological theory to back this up – just seemed logical to us, but we may be wrong! Please let me know how you settle this one!

  5. December 13, 2008 9:39 pm

    With my job, I’ve already had to have the talk with my 6 & 8 year olds. The hardest part for them was to realize that not all bad guys/girls look like creeps. We’ve gone over where to go if they get lost in the store (look for uniform or name badge, etc.) and I’ve also been pretty honest in pointing out people who are under the influence or have obvious mental health issues. My kids are definately not sheltered and I’m hoping that some exposure will keep them safe. You just never know these days.

  6. fixitmommy permalink*
    December 14, 2008 9:32 am

    Thanks for all the great information and tips, ladies. You rock!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: