Saturday, August 20, 2016

Stranger Danger

Manya has been learning about stranger danger for a couple of weeks now at her martial arts class. Prior to this, during our trip earlier this year to India for my brother's wedding, Vish and I had been talking to her about being aware of strangers and especially in public places sticking to only mommy or daddy etc etc.

It is very difficult to explain the concept of stranger danger to a three year old - you have to keep that delicate balance between keeping their faith in humanity and all the goodness there is in the world and at the same time cautioning them to the ills without going into details. A curious and communicative child like Manya just adds to the complexity.

Also, sadly it says something about the world we live in if we cannot let our children trust our fellow home sapiens without any fear.

Here are some conversations we have been having...

"Mommy how does a bad stranger look?"

"Why would anyone want to hurt me?"

"Would a stranger try to hurt me even if I am friendly and nice to him or her?"

We are currently at this understanding: Most strangers are good. However, there are a few bad ones out there who can hurt you, so it is good to be cautious around all strangers because by looking at someone you can't really say whether they are good or bad. It is okay to exchange common courtesy or pleasantry with strangers but no other conversation without a parent or a safe grown up (teacher, family, friend). There are certain "safe" strangers who can help especially if parents are known safe grown-up is not around - police, firefighters, paramedics, doctors.

Phew, things were much simpler when we were growing up!

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