It is a truth we rarely acknowledge that we spend the first few years confusing children as to what a stranger is.
Technically a stranger is someone you do not know and have never met seems simple enough but in the modern age is it? Families are spaced out not only around the country but the world my son has an Auntie he has no recollection of as we do not speak and another who he would only recognise via photographs as she spends half her life in the rainforest. He does not ‘know’ these people yet would be expected to act as if he did by the sheer title of family, yet people he passes daily in the street we envoke the stranger danger tag. Likewise we as adults blur the lines who amongst us does not have a ‘friend’ or twenty at the other side of the world with whom we share every thing, yet we do not speak to most of the people who live on the street we live on.
And lets take it one step further we place our children in the position of having to accept strangers constantly without further clarification of our definitions, don’t speak to strangers but answer the little old lady on the bus that asks how old you are!
I used to love the definition that a stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet, but when teaching our children we need to be consistent and think things through a little more.
2 thoughts on “S is for Strangers”
Stranger danger is a terrible destructive concept contributing to many soocial ills. I far prefer your definition as a friend you yet to meet.
Stranger danger indroctination stunts the social skills of children leading to an isolated, lonely and fearful adult society whilst doing little to protect them from abuse and abduction which is most commonly perpertrated by people they are supposed to be able to trust.
This is a great post. As my daughter starts interacting more with others, I find myself contemplating this same thing. That’s so neat that your sister lives in the rainforest!
Congrats on completing a-z.