Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Do Not Talk to Strangers is Bad

When I was a child, both my parents and my educators drilled into my head not to talk to strangers.  With kids like Adam Walsh being so big in everyone's mind, they taught us not to talk to strangers afraid we would be lured into pedophiles cars.

I suppose I should have spoke about this subject sooner because today arrived a box from my mom with some books including this one:
I flipped through the book.  It's all about not talking to strangers.

So why is this all wrong, all bad?

Well, because the chances of child being assaulted or kidnapped by a strangers are smaller than being struck by lightening.  Children are more likely to be in car accidents.  And if there is a case of assault or kidnapping, it normally involves someone the child knows, not a stranger.  So there's no point in scaring children.

What's worse about is that if a child is lost in the store, in the woods, or hurt, it's important that we teach children to seek out help even from strangers.  There have been instances where children were lost in the woods on scouting trips and when they heard the searchers, they did not respond because of the "Do not talk to strangers."  One boy died.  And one girl was rescued because a mother/daughter team called out to her when they weren't supposed to be helping.  The police force was mostly male.  She felt comfortable crying out to a woman's voice.  She explained that she had been taught not to talk to strangers.

So what is a parent to do?  Nothing.  No, not exactly.  We can talk about if something bad happens like someone is touching them inappropriately that they need to tell someone.  And if they are approached by a stranger that it's perfectly fine to talk to them.  Just don't go off with them or get into their car.  And if they need to, go find help even if they don't know the person.  Most adults are harmless.

What am I going to do with the book?  No clue.  I suppose I should ask my mom where she got and return it for another one.  Because I have no plans on reading it to the boys.  Ever. 

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