Post By limatunes
September 9th, 2011 06:58 PM
A funny thing happened....
When I was little my parents used to tell me things like, "Stay in public. Public places are safe," or "You can trust xyz person."
As I grew older I learned to hard experience that these things were not necessarily true. Because I trusted my parents and what they told me I blindly stepped into situations that caused me a great deal of pain and suffered with quite a bit of bitterness towards my parents for "lying" to me though, of course now, I realize they were doing the best they could to raise me.
So I have determined to be very careful what I tell my children in regards to their safety, surroundings and other individuals.
But I found myself in quite a predicament at the post office today.
My 2.5 y/o son and I were waiting in line when a man came through the door. My son uncharacteristically ran behind my leg and pulled my shirt over his face peeking out at the man very cautiously. He indicated he wanted me to pick him up but as I had numerous books and papers in my hands from our recent stop at the library I couldn't juggle him and what I already had in arms.
I very offhandedly remarked, "Oh, don't worry, sweetheart. I promise he won't bite you."
I realized the moment that I said it that I was making an unfounded promised based upon nothing. I can never promise what another person will or will not do. I can only promise my own actions. I did not know the man but was automatically trying to pressure my son into assuming he was okay.
I immediately tried to correct my error by saying (a bit too loudly), "And if he does, Mommy will hit him with a book."
Everyone within the packed vicinity (including the man) turned to look at me suspiciously and the man let out a sharp, "WHAT!?" I smiled at him and shrugged he smiled back and started to laugh.
JD says that at least I didn't say, "I'll pistol whip him."
I guess I'll have to be a little more careful with the brain/mouth filter thing.
September 9th, 2011 07:07 PM
sounds like a good balance of be trusting but be prepared with a bit of "I'm the Momma" thrown in.
September 9th, 2011 10:23 PM
I've got 5 kids Lima. The oldest is 20 now and the youngest are 9 year old twins. I have found that most kids are afraid reflexively of certain adults for good reason. Often reasons that they themselves are not even aware of. I never tell our kids that someone we don't know is ok. Never. If they are automatically afraid of someone, that tends to put me on high alert about that person.
Trust that little boy Lima. If the way he reacted to that man was uncharacteristic for him, there was surely something wrong with him that you may not have picked up on that you son, possibly unconsciously, was able to recognize.
September 9th, 2011 10:52 PM
I agree. That's what's so "wrong" about the whole scenario. I've never disregarded his apprehension of anyone before. I've never "forced" him to like anyone (not even my own mother) or told him someone was okay or that he had to go to someone who he seemed uncomfortable around.
Originally Posted by TN_Mike
Of late he's not been around many strangers in close proximity and sometimes he is so outgoing he will run up to complete strangers and show them his toys, say "hi" etc. So, yes, it was very uncharacteristic of him to have such a strong negative reaction to this guy. I just blew it off and then immediately knew I shouldn't have. I agree... kids have a sort of sixth sense about people and I should have respected that instead of trying to reassure him.
When he was just over a year we were in a Subway and this lady employee came out of the back and didn't get within five feet of him before he started screaming his little head off. She kept trying to get closer and he just screamed. Both JD and I asked her to just give him his space. We were polite but we respected his obvious apprehension. I should have done that in this case as well.
September 9th, 2011 10:58 PM
It is actually quite normal for a child to be cautious of unknown people. It is a survival mechanism. They rely on you to discern the situation and protect them. I agree with TN_Mike that sometimes they can sense something is wrong without knowing why. You can sense something is wrong if your spidey senses start tingling. I doubt this man was any real threat. But truly, Lima, with your training, I pity the man who thinks you are an easy target. And I have seen pictures of JD and Garrett practicing. He will have your six.
Preparing for the Zombie Apocalypse or Rapture....whichever comes first.
September 9th, 2011 11:06 PM
I understand where you're coming from. But, that's not fair to people like myself; at least 75% of the kids I encounter don't like me at first. They tend to stare. HARD. If I'm around them for a while they'll relax, and realize I'm not the bad guy.
But, I have noticed that the kids whose parents are overbearingly protective/controlling are the ones who don't like me while the kids that seem to have no form of discipline are the ones that like me most.
Should that be something I worry about?
Last edited by RevolvingMag; September 9th, 2011 at 11:07 PM.
Reason: Typo fairy got me again
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