It is a common theme nowadays to make your kid afraid of all the strangers in the world. When you think about it, though, as Smashing Pumpkins once sung, “strangers when we meet,” everyone was once a stranger to your kid.
I came across this article recently on a parenting subreddit and I couldn’t resist sharing it: “Tricky People” are the New Strangers. Posted by Check List Mommy.
To sum it up, it discusses how we are creating needlessly paranoid kids in a needlessly paranoid society. So much so, that our kids will be too afraid to ask grown-ups for help, because they are “strangers.” The new way to warn your kids about stranger danger is to talk with them about “tricky” people. People that ask your kid for help, give them gifts, tell them to keep secrets, and so forth.
Much better approach, I think!
On that topic: Are people in your area paranoid about men and kids? Where I am, no one bats an eye when they see a little kid with a grown man, but I keep reading that men in other places are always getting dirty looks if they so much as smile at a kid. Where is this mentality coming from? How amazingly sexist. Baffles the mind.