Hi, friends! How is your Sunday going so far? If you’re in the US, are you loving the long weekend? I know that the Wieboldt crew is loving that Alex has tomorrow off so we get double daddy time this week!
Today I’m stopping in to give you all this month’s Advice Found! I’m so happy I started this series because I LOVE the well-thought out, insightful advice you all leave in the comments! It’s so interesting for me to see all of the different opinions on a topic and each time I learn so much and leave with a lot to consider.
This month’s topic was Stranger Danger! To get the full post which had my own take on the topic as well as the general question asked, head over to this post! Below you’ll find some of my favorites from the comments section of the last Seeking Advice. You can see all of the comments as well as my take on the issue on the post, “Seeking Advice: Stranger Danger” I’ve linked the names to that person’s blog if applicable and would love it if you’d stop by their site and see some of what they’re about!
I just want to say: you all are amazing. The insight you give on each topic is just amazing, and this month I truly learned SO much and have so much to think about in regards to how to talk to the boys about strangers.
Advice Found: Stranger Danger
“My mom had a tough go of it with me because I was shy of people I knew but bold with people I didn’t, so that was a weird combo to navigate. We got a bit of stranger danger from school, but my mom also did a good job to preach the be respectful of other’s rule, which I think in turn taught me to be wary, but not scared, of people. I think that was a good way to go with me–only take things from people you know, and if you feel threatened, say something, but in general learn body language and that takes you far. Unfortunately, in today’s world (and especially Chicago, where gun violence is increasingly rampant), I don’t know how far that carries.”
“So I was maybe 8? Or 10? And wanted to ride my bike to a friends house. NBD. Less than a mile away. My mom said to call home when I got there. So off I went. Apparently a few minutes in, she panicked. Realizing she had never taught me about stranger danger. So, she hopped in the car and drove to catch up with me. When she did, she started yelling things like “little girl, I have candy” so I stopped my bike and was like “candy”?! And then she was like no, get back on your bike. And I was confused. But I did. And then she tried, “little girl, I have a puppy” so of course I stopped my bike and tried to go over to her car. And she freaked out and yelled at me again. She literally followed me all the way to my friend’s house yelling, trying to get me to hop in her car, and then yelling at me when I went to.
She finally explained her purpose once we got to my friend’s house. And I calmly told her, if the cops had stopped us I would have said I didn’t know her. ? And now I take candy from strangers and have done my fair share of hitchhiking with randos. So. I can tell you how to NOT teach the boys.
In all seriousness. I think the tricky people is a good one. As is the code word. And to let them know that if something was ever out of the ordinary that you could call. Like if someone else was coming to get them from school lets say. Also. My mom never let me have my name printed on my backpack like the other kids because she said a crazy stranger could then know my name and pretend to know me. Sigh. Growing up was weird sometimes.”
^^ One of the best parenting stories I have ever heard. Also, I’ve heard about not letting kids have names printed on things!
“I like the idea of teaching kids about “tricky people”. I think that might help them to not fear every single person in this world. I was also taught to never talk to anyone I didn’t know. I feel like I still don’t like talking to strangers either and grew up semi-paranoid that something terrible was going to happen to me. I think I will try to teach them that they need to be very careful but I also want to try to find a balance so they don’t grow up totally paranoid and terrified of everyone else.”
“I’m not really sure I can give a good answer to this question since I don’t think I ever had the stranger danger conversation with my parents… mostly because I’m pretty sure I’ve been distrustful and wary of others since the day I was born ? The tricky people is a good idea in theory, but the scary thing is that the most dangerous people are usually the ones that come off as the most normal… so I feel like it would be hard for a child to judge that. That and most abductions and assaults are carried out by people that the child knows, so the stranger thing doesn’t even apply.”
Tinike from Working Mommy Abroad
“I don´t want my kid to grow up in a world full of fears and dangers. I think the stranger danger conversations gives a very biased view of the world around you, YES there are some creeps out there but most people are not! If you´re not allowed to talk to strangers you will miss out on a whole lot of nice people you can meet and interesting experiences you will live. Although the world sometimes seems a crazy dangerous place, I don´t think it should drive our day-to-day. I love a kid´s innocence of always being optimistic and trying new things, the stranger danger conversation only limits that and feeds fear.”
“This is tough. I was actually just thinking about this the other day with Annabelle. Here I am trying to get her to be happy to those around her and not cry at them. But in reality, they are strangers to her, so where do we draw the line, ya know? I was told not to talk to strangers (I think, haha I don’t remember!), and I’m not sure what to teach Annabelle. I thought we’d teach her the same but I like the “tricky” aspect to it. I don’t want them to fear everyone, but in this world, it’s SO scary and so much can happen. It makes me nervous already!”
^^The whole worrying about what to worry about in regards to kids crying etc in public/around strangers is a WHOLE other topic that I could write about for DAYS!
“Growing up in a small town, we were encouraged to talk to everyone. I’m now raising my own kids in the same small town, but things have changed since I was a kid and there are more questionable people around. I’m trying to teach my kids to be polite, but unless they know the person, that’s it. Statistics say that most children are assaulted by people they know so the key is to analyze any relationships that others have with them and be aware of red flags that could indicate “grooming.””
Michele from Grammie Time
“My babies are all grown up and the world is a very different place than it was 25 years ago when I was teaching my children about stranger danger. With that said, some things haven’t changed-like common sense! You’d think. Teaching children to never speak to a stranger can also be unsafe for them in certain situations. Point: If they ever get lost we teach them to look for a police officer, but most of the time police officers are not around. They would need to approach someone for help. We teach them to beware of strangers, yet many abusive situations happen to children with people they actually know. I could go on and on with scenarios, but to keep this short and to the point – look for teachable moments and know your child’s personality. Like you stated with your brother and yourself, different kids see situations in different lights. It must be a consistent lesson in different situations and must constantly be talked about when the situation arises. We use to role play with our girls actually creating “what if” scenarios so they would know what to do in any given time. Knowledge is power and kids very young can learn. First and foremost teach them three numbers 911 and how/when to use it. Great awareness here for parents.”
“My parents like yours had the same philosophy when it came to strangers. Little did they know that they person who would act inappropriate towards me was a person they knew very well. (See her amazing post on this here.)
However, back to your question: we have a similar approach for our children in discerning between strangers and tricky people. We teach “be aware of your surroundings” and “say what you see” this way once said out loud it becomes more aware. We teach this from the get go with just about anything. I got it from a book actually called “Say What You See” google it — I’m sure it’ll come right up. Also working on a blog post for that one actually.”
“I really feel like it has a lot to do with each individual child and their maturity level. For example, my son is young but he is extremely mature. He understands a lot more than kids his own age. So if I were to explain a complex concept to him (for example, why we don’t talk to strangers) he would get it. If a child is old enough to grasp the concept, I think it’s best to teach them to think critically instead of automatically instill “fear” or “distrust.” Because what happens if we were at a grocery store, I fell down and was unconscious, and all of a sudden he’s surrounded by strangers trying to help? That would be an extremely scary situation for him. But since he can think critically about his surroundings and situations, he would know those people are doing more good than harm and would likely not be afraid.
Did that make sense? In short, I think it’s a case by case basis and each parent should really step back and evaluate whether their child is able to grasp the differences between a bad stranger and a good one.
BUT! Here I’m going to argue with myself and prove me wrong — I saw a few years ago I think on Dateline an undercover segment they did with 8 or 9 year old kids. They knew not to talk to strangers and to always ask their mom and dad before doing something a stranger was asking them to do. But when they went to play outside and the ice cream truck showed up and he said they would get free ice cream, they all got inside the ice cream truck!! No questions asked!!
Moral of the story — ice cream truck guy? Definitely, definitely no. Grocery store people helping someone who fell down? Probably okay.
Good luck to us parents out there… ?”
^^ Good luck.. AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH!?
Again, thank you so much to EVERYONE who commented! It was so hard to choose which ones to post but in the best way possible! My hope was to choose an array of different opinions and stances.
This is a monthly feature her at Morgan Manages Mommyhood, so if you missed out on this month’s topic, be sure to come by for June’s topic, requested by Jessie from The Acquired Sass – Kids and Money! How do you handle chores, money, and finances with your children? I post the question on a Thursday and the answers 2 Sundays later to give everyone a chance to leave their advice. Please sign up for my newsletter where I share exclusive tips, tricks, and thoughts as well as a summary of that week’s posts – that way you can be sure to leave your advice in time!
So tell me – who’s advice did you identify the most with? Who’s made you think the most? If you missed adding your advice but have something great to say on the topic, leave it in the comments!
Got a picky eater?
My kids eat their veggies every day without complaining. Want my secret?
Grab the Outsmart your Picky Eater cheat sheets to get the inside scoop on how to add veggies to food your kids already love.