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Talking with Strangers

 
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edtheredhead



Joined: 02 Apr 2005
Posts: 81
Location: Northwest PA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 1:01 am    Post subject: Talking with Strangers Reply with quote

Just thought I'd throw this idea out. Several years ago, I fell asleep in front of the tv in the afternoon & awoke to Oprah being on. They were having a discussion on talking with strangers.

The guest mentioned how it is illogical to simply tell our kids "Don't talk to strangers" when all their lives they will need to deal with strangers. Instead, he said, we need to teach them how to talk to strangers.

A couple of weeks ago, we put this idea into practice. My daughter & I went to the local mall. We started with a "briefing". We talked about what kind of strangers were "probably okay" to talk to and get help from, our examples included police officers, people with name badges, and moms with kids.

We then had her practice with me within a couple of feet. Her assignment was to pick someone out, approach them, and ask them a question. Sample questions included, "Where is the bathroom?" and "What time is it?"

Then afterward, we debriefed a little and sat on a bench pointing out people she shouldn't approach and why and also what to do if someone tries to get them to come with them that she doesn't feel comfortable with.

All in all, it was a good afternoon.

Just thought I'd throw the idea out for you all.
_________________
Ed
Married to Margaret (1996)
1 daughter Belinda (1999)
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Paul
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2005 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

In general, I'ld concur, but in our family there's a huge variable introduced with the child's personality. My daughter watched my interactions with strangers and swiftly developed a healthy degree of caution in her own interactions. She suggested sign / countersign phrases in case messages had to be delivered via stranger etc. I said very little lest it inspire paranoia.

When my now 8yo son was four, he stood at the end of an aisle in a store during Christmas rush greeting everyone who passed with, "My name is Max! What's yours?" Not only do I fear that he'll grow up to be a politician, but over the years we've actively had to dampen his social enthusiasm from time to time.

Paul
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