Talking to Strangers

abduction, strangers, sisters

photo by kevinsgirl

"Don't talk to strangers" is a cardinal rule in many homes with kids. The publicity of child abductions in this country has done a pretty good job of freaking us all out. But when it comes to making sure that our children don't get lured by any bad guys, I wonder if sometimes we take the don't talk to strangers thing too far.


NotPanicking forbids her kids to talk to strangers at any time--ever with her. Her rule has backfired though, because her son is so engaging, adults strike up conversations with him wherever mom and kid are. She wants to know how to address these grown-ups who are unknowingly helping her kid break her rule. But other moms advised her to relax a little:

"Don't go over board with the not talking to strangers thing. My mother basically had me convinced that all strangers were murderers and rapists and it made me really shy and timid. Then when I got out on my own I was pretty much socially handicapped. I think it's ok to let him talk to strangers once in a while if you're right there."-- sbastille

"I think you can teach to not talk to strangers when he isn't with you. If he is alone... stay away from strangers, don't talk to them, don't go near them, and never take anything (candy, toys) from them. He's going to meet people he doesn't know (he's young, he doesn't know many people!) but it should be safe to talk to people if he is with you."-- AmiJanell

"Personally, I didn't emphasise to my young kids about "don't talk to strangers" and teaching them about dangers out there. I knew it was emotionally important for them to be shown that the world is a GOOD place. Time enough later for them to learn about exceptions to that. I just took it upon myself to NEVER take my children's safety for granted."-- waldorfmom

"You don't control the "don't talk to strangers" rule, by making the strangers not talk. You have to continue to instill the issues and the WHY of the issue to your child."-- EireLass

What do you think about this advice? Do you tell your kids not to talk to strangers?

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