How do YOU feel about strangers?


GreenGreta
#1
Hey, I haven't been around here in awhile, spending most of my time on myspace and youtube, you know. I'd like some feedback from anyone, on strangers. I had a burst of inspiration and wrote this.

Most people teach their children not to talk to strangers. I feel that even adults will avoid talking, smiling and joking around with a person just because they have never met them before. Why assume that the person is BAD, when you could assume the person is GOOD. Look them in the eye, look at what they are wearing, count their piercings and tattoos, then talk to them anyway.

When I was raising my young child I taught him to be cautious who you talk to. I would never tell a child not to talk to strangers. The person behind the counter is a stranger, but you have to talk to them and you can't tell your children that "all shopkeepers are good" because it just isn't true. At least, you don't know if it is. Do you want your child to have an automatic trust of all shopkeepers? No, you don't, or you shouldn't.

We have learned that it's the people who hold positions of automatic trust that are the most likely to be offenders. You've heard the hockey coach, the priest, the scout master, the babysitter, the teacher, the doctor etc have all been charged with molestation. Yet, you've told your child to talk to them, trust them and follow their instruction, why? We are afraid to talk to good and honest regular people, yet we'll place our children in harms way every day of our lives. Our kids are in hockey, at the doctor, in the church and at scouts, every day, with no supervision. Why do we trust the hockey coach, yet shy away from the person in line in front of us at the grocery store. Everyone look down, that'll make the line faster, that'll make your day brighter.

Is there harm in casual, meaningless conversation with a stranger? If the person makes you uncomfortable, talk to someone else, if everyone makes you uncomfortable, see your doctor. I believe it's good health to make a point of talking to a total stranger every day.

Conversation starters by GG:
"Hey, does this chicken look fresh to you?" (But you have to NOT be holding chicken, never ask that if you have chicken, because it'll just be stupid)
"Wow, you'd think this liquor store would be busier. It being a Monday and all"
"Is my deodorant working?"

Truthfully, the above will only make more people avoid strangers, so maybe try these instead:

"Hi, did you see the sale in aisle three?" But you have to really have a good sale in aisle three, or it'll just be stupid. Like half price water or old people diapers, you know.
"mmm, ingredients for lasagna, nummy"
"wow, you found that top here?"
"Hey, I am about to feed ten people, do you think this is enough potatoes?"
"These grapes any good? here eat one"

Oh, another fave, if a group of people are talking about one of their friends, and especially if it's a particularly bad story, always, always, ask if he's single.
 
karrie
#2
my kids are encouraged to talk to strangers, and I try to lead by example. Casual lighthearted conversation can make for a great day. And kids need to learn what a 'normal' stranger is, and what a 'bad' stranger is. My kids will talk to almost anyone. But there are a few people who put them off. I keep a close eye on anyone my kids shy away from and are uncomfortable around. They've also been taught that if anything ever happens, and they're lost and scared, they should always, always try to find a mom. Not a firefighter, or police officer. A mom. Statistically, a mom will be more likely to stick with a kid until they get home (not pass them off to a desk clerk), and is less likely to be a predator.

Stranger wiseness is a great topic.... lovely post, thanks.
 
GreenGreta
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

They've also been taught that if anything ever happens, and they're lost and scared, they should always, always try to find a mom. Not a firefighter, or police officer. A mom. Statistically, a mom will be more likely to stick with a kid until they get home (not pass them off to a desk clerk),

That's absolutely BRILLIANT advice. I love that, especially the desk clerk part, how frightening that would be.

I also told my son that if we were at the park and he needed to scream for me, to use my first name and not just say mom. No sense in having every mom at the park looking up right?

What else ya got? lol
 
selfactivated
#4
GREAT Posts! Im with Karrie on the "find a Mom" If a kid came up to me and was worried Id stick to him. In fact Ive worked he festivals as info helpers and found kids lost. Its so easy to turn around and find a 6 year old gone from sight in a croud.

Im a talker (no really) and I also taught my kids by example LOL "MoMMMMM Your embarassing us!" But I love talking to people. Their faces light up and they smile, I just get the biggest kick outta it.
 
karrie
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by GreenGretaView Post

That's absolutely BRILLIANT advice. I love that, especially the desk clerk part, how frightening that would be.

I also told my son that if we were at the park and he needed to scream for me, to use my first name and not just say mom. No sense in having every mom at the park looking up right?

What else ya got? lol


One of the neatest things I've seen lately, was from a fundraiser my kids' school was doing. It was a label company. personalized labels, for everything from lunchkits to sneakers, to iron on tag labels for all of your kids stuff. My fave, the kid label. It's like an amusement park arm band, you write all of your contact info on it, your name, address and phone number. So, if you're heading off to a big venue, you stick a wrist band on your kid, pack your cell phone, and even if they slip away somehow, any other mom with a cell phone can just ring you up, and you'd have your kid back in a relative snap.

Another little gem I heard recently was from Rosie O'Donnell. They were discussing the code word idea, you know, incase you have to have someone else pick up your kid from school, having a pre established code word so the kid knows they were really sent by you. She was saying that what they use is completely inappropriate terms that you'd never hear an adult say under any other circumstances, and thus, one the kids won't easily forget. The example she gave was

"Shut the f___ up."

lol.
 
talloola
#6
I was given good advice long ago, when I was a young mom. DON'T ever put your childs
name on any of his outer clothing, as "strangers" with bad ideas can just call them by name,
and pretend they are friend of family, etc.
A lady I knew long ago, set her son up, by having male friend approach her son in a mall, and, even after he had been
told by his mom, not to listen to strangers, when approached, was "TALKED" into walking away with
the man. At that point his mom came onto scene, and "took" over. I have never forgotton that
story, I guess it really strikes home with the kid, as I'm sure his mom had a lot to say to him after
that incident.
 
karrie
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by selfactivatedView Post

GREAT Posts! Im with Karrie on the "find a Mom" If a kid came up to me and was worried Id stick to him. In fact Ive worked he festivals as info helpers and found kids lost. Its so easy to turn around and find a 6 year old gone from sight in a croud.

Im a talker (no really) and I also taught my kids by example LOL "MoMMMMM Your embarassing us!" But I love talking to people. Their faces light up and they smile, I just get the biggest kick outta it.

See, festivals and such should HAVE to have, as far as I'm concerned, "in case I'm lost" bracelets, where parents can write cell phone numbers, or significant meeting places. You can tell a kid "if we get split up, meet me at the corn dog stand", but they might not remember on their own when panicked, or may not be able to find the appropriate spot. A kind mom can almost always get a kid where they need to go, or find a phone to ring a cell.
 
karrie
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by talloolaView Post

I was given good advice long ago, when I was a young mom. DON'T ever put your childs
name on any of his outer clothing, as "strangers" with bad ideas can just call them by name,
and pretend they are friend of family, etc.
A lady I knew long ago, set her son up, by having male friiend approach her son in a mall, and, even after he had been
told by his mom, not to listen to strangers, when approached, was "TALKED" into walking away with
the man. At that point his mom came onto scene, and "took" over. I have never forgotton that
story, I guess it really strikes home with the kid, as I'm sure his mom had a lot to say to him after
that incident.

I agree, no names on the outside of clothes. And kids should be taught not to GO anywhere with strangers. But, teaching kids that they should just out and out ignore all strangers isn't good either.
 
selfactivated
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

See, festivals and such should HAVE to have, as far as I'm concerned, "in case I'm lost" bracelets, where parents can write cell phone numbers, or significant meeting places. You can tell a kid "if we get split up, meet me at the corn dog stand", but they might not remember on their own when panicked, or may not be able to find the appropriate spot. A kind mom can almost always get a kid where they need to go, or find a phone to ring a cell.


Great minds.........When I was at the info center I gave each child a site map and STRONGLY suggested that the parents write their cell phone number on it!
 
GreenGreta
#10
Ya, I remember the code word thing, but had never used it.
Where have all the "block parents" gone? I remember those signs in all the windows when I was a kid. Do you see them anymore?
 
Curiosity
#11
Hello Stranger GG!!!

I wish you would visit more often... see the neat topic you posted for us to chat about!

In my little town we still have the block safe houses...for latchkey kids.... they are all registered with the school, have had interviews with the parents and the kids before school actually starts... they are unsung heros and the parents often throw them a dinner at the end of the school year.

What I hear the kids visiting their homes after school is a bright couple of hours in their lives...and of course if a child needs a safe house in a hurry....their door is always open...
 
GreenGreta
#12
Aww, you're cute Curiosity, I miss you too gf. I don't seem to be inspired as much as I once was, I have to work on that, I guess.
 
Curiosity
#13
Dear GG - you don't have to be "inspired" to write here hahaha

Anyhoo you could share some stories about your son's antics of late.....
 
GreenGreta
#14
Well, right now, the kid is saving to go to England and France in October. I can just imagine how that'll work out, lol.
 
Curiosity
#15
Dear GG

If he gets into trouble with his mouth - he can say he is American lol....
 
GreenGreta
#16
Well, it would take a lot for my kid to lie and say he was american. I'm sure he'd need to be facing death, lol. Of course, he only dislikes americans for the way that they treat us.
 

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