We had a contractor come by our house the other day to bid up some work we needed done. As he was leaving, Amanda and I ended up talking with him about our girls and all the activities they start to get involved in. Sari and Macie were outside with us playing in the leaves in the front yard.
After the gentleman left, that situation prompted Amanda to have a talk with Sari about STRANGERS. She relayed to Sari that Mom and Dad are nice and talk to lots of people, and that doesn’t make them our friends. In other words, unless you are with Mom and Dad, you cannot talk with people YOU don’t know. Now there are not many instances (other than daycare, or babysitting times) that the girls are not with us.
But our biggest worry is this: we know lots of people in Hayward, but because of my particularly unique position as a pastor to many children and teenagers in this area, more people know me (and thus my kids) than I know them. I am always being waved at and smiled at and yelled at across Walmart (or wherever). We want to make sure that just because someone says that they know me or Amanda, doesn’t mean that that it’s okay to go with them (or at the basic level talk with them). We don’t want to teach our girls fear, rather wisdom. And they don’t realize the kind of unique position they are in as my kids, and we want to be very careful with them.
It was humorous, but yesterday on our trip out to South Dakota for Grandpa Don’s funeral, we stopped at Dairy Queen for a treat in Worthington, MN. While we were enjoying our tasty treats an older gentleman sitting next to us struck up a conversation. I ended up telling him I was a pastor and that launched him into some interesting dialogue with me. While I was talking with this man, Sari leaned ever-so-slightly next to me and whispered in my ear: “Dad, is that a stranger?” After a silent chuckle, I whispered back: “Yes, Sari, it is.”
Any other thoughts regarding talking with kids about safety when it comes to strangers and stuff?