Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Stranger Danger and other Areas of Concern!

At school and at home Shannon is constantly reminded about Stranger Danger. I find this topic to be an eternal minefield of 3 year old logic and adult inconsistencies! First let me ask this: how is it OK that we tell our children NEVER to talk to strangers and certainly never to accept things from them, and then at Christmas encourage them to go and sit on a strange man's lap and ASK for a pressie? As adults we can see the (slight) difference, but at 3, 4, 5 years old... certainly not!

My other dilemma in this issue is that I am trying to raise friendly, confidant and outgoing children and that means they need to develop the ability to talk to people they have never met and not to be terrified of them. Now, once again, as an adult, I can see that there are situations in which children can talk to strangers and times when it is wholly unsuitable... how do I explain the difference to Shannon?

Her latest take on the whole situation is that if she acknowledges that the person is a stranger it is OK, so whenever we go to the shops and she sees a car guard, for example, she shouts: "Hello Stranger Danger!" One feels the poor man needs an explaination, but where to begin?

Shannon also feels it is sensible to ask someone if they are a Stranger Danger, which sorta defeats the object, since if they really were a danger they would be vey unlikely to mention it!

The other thing that has evidently become an Area of Caution for us is Shannon's ability to listen to and repeat what we have said. There is a man who parks his car in our complex on the grass outside our neighbour's house. He does not live in the complex but feels his handbreak won't hold on his own driveway. We are asked not to park on the grass anyway as it has a bit of a negative impact on the quality of our front lawns. Sean said something about this, under his breath, when leaving with Shannon to go shopping and Shannon asked why he had his cross face on. So Sean told her that the man was naughty for parking on the grass. Not long after this we saw the man getting into his car and Shannon said loudly, as 3 year olds do: "That man's naughty, hey Daddy!" Once again... where to start with an explaination?

And, just because I am an overindulgent parent:
Not sure how to turn it so if anyone has any ideas please let me know!

1 comment:

Potty Mummy said...

Not sure what to say on the Stranger Danger thing - and if you end up coming back here it will be something that looms large in public conscience what with all the high profile stuff on missing children (specifically, the McCann's). They have talked about it at school, I know, but have not spent a great deal of time on it myself with Boy #1. I mean, the world is a scary enough place already without putting the fear of god into him when the postman rings the door bell....