Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How do you Teach Your Little Kids about Strangers without Scaring the Cr@p Out of Them?

The answer: I don't know. 

I am hoping some of you reading this can help me figure out where to start because I feel clueless. 

My oldest, CJ, is the kid who introduces himself to everyone.  He is a charismatic charmer by nature and my social butterfly.  And, he's been this way since he was born.  He has always loved people - talking to them, meeting new people, going new places, asking a million questions and soaking it all in. 

Just the other day we were at the grocery store and half way through an aisle I stopped to peruse the shelves.  I hear from behind me, "Hi, I'm CJ, what's your name? This is my sister EM and that is my mommy.  What are you looking for? Why do you have that? Where do you live?" and then, "Mommy, what's that lady doing? Why is she doing that?" And he does this everywhere we go.

I am so hesitant to correct this and I just am unsure how to approach this entire subject - especially with a three year old.  Even more so with a three year old who loves the world.  I worry I will stifle his outgoing and friendly personality which is so inherently him.  CJ's personality and his outgoing nature is one of his best (and most endearing) traits.  As one of my friends labeled it, he is a child of the world.

Once we start talking so gloom and doom about strangers, I fear that part of him may not grow and develop as it is meant to.  Yet, we need to start talking about this subject because he is old enough to be approached by a stranger up to no good.  Or, am I overthinking this already? 

And, don't even get me started on the potential "bad" people we may already know.  If I don't know how to talk about strangers, I definitely don't have a clue how to start the conversation on good touch/bad touch, particularly when it may happen by someone we know. 

I desire more than anything to protect my children from any and all harm in life. It seems this is one of those gray areas that no matter how hard we try as parents to protect, there are forces outside of our control at work here. I guess our real job as parents is to equip our children with the knowledge they need to navigate life successfully.  And that includes knowing the difference between good strangers and bad strangers.

I guess you kind of figure this out as you go, right? A little information here and a short comment there so as not to overwhelm or scare them and over time children learn about stranger danger. 

How did you start teaching your little ones about strangers? 

Ready to meet some new friends!

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