Readers! Here’s a word about stranger danger, from reader Regina Long:
Dear Free-Range Kids: Last night I was leaving the YMCA with 3 of my children when I noticed a mom behind me carrying a baby and accompanied by a little girl of about 5, so I stopped and held the first lobby door for them. I also stopped to hold the second door for them when the 5-year-old burst ahead and started running towards the very busy parking lot just a foot away. Instinctively I put my hand on the front of her to stop here from going further till her mom could catch up when the girl turned around and screamed…and I mean screamed at me…”DON’T TOUCH ME…YOU’RE A STRANGER! HELP!! HELP!!”
Talk about being caught off guard and embarrassed! And the Mom was smugly proud of her daughter ‘s reaction, praising her for her quick response.
Now I am 100 % for giving your children the tools needed to ward off unwanted advances, especially for times when they are alone and most vulnerable. But it truly saddens me that we live in a day when the kindness of strangers becomes unwanted and suspect. I’d like to say that I will think twice before helping another mom/dad struggling with young children in public…but instinct takes over and I probably won’t! – R.L.
Lenore here: Good! Keep reaching out and try to ignore the idiots who mistake kindness for creepiness because their common sense has been totally corrupted by worst-first thinking. (Which is, of course, NOT thinking, just dreading the whole world and all its predators.)