I love kids, but its a shame to have to be so careful.

Missing kids - A lonely playground that is waiting for Spring and kids to return. Won't be long now
Canada
March 4, 2007 6:24am CST
It is such a shame to have to be so careful when talking to little kids. At 58 I believe I have some sort of Grandfather instinct kicking in. I was out for a coffee once and smiled at a pretty little girl and she gave me the most amazing smile back. She was so pretty and so unassuming and had such a ready smile. She was with her mother and her mother saw her smile at me and I could see her say something to her daughter and could tell she was scolding her. The little girl looked hurt and I know I was. I understand the need to teach children about not talking to strangers, but are we instilling a deep fear of people and the world in general in little kids?How do you teach your children about strangers? If you are out with your child do you tell them it is ok to talk to an adult who might address them or smile at them? Or is just simply not something you allow?I think this is an important topic. Well, it sure is to me. So I hope some mothers of young ones take the time to answer. I have a son 30, who lives with an amazing woman and a daughter 28 who has been married for just over a year. All I can say is...........Where the heck are the grandkids! I need someone to spoil.
4 people like this
17 responses
• United Arab Emirates
4 Mar 07
I agree with you, but, unfortunately in todays world, it is difficult to tell who to trust, after all paedophiles do not carry a sign. A glance through the newspapers and there are so many stories of children who have been hurt in one way or another. I wonder how many stories have not been covered by the papers. Is it any wonder that a lot of parents believe in being safe rather than sorry. Don't worry soon you will have plenty of grandkids to spoil rotten
2 people like this
@anonymili (3140)
4 Mar 07
I can totally see where you're coming from, I don't have kids and my parents are driving me nuts regularly asking when they're going to be grandparents - I keep telling them that that boat has sailed and to badger my younger brother instead! I can get away with seeing a cute child in the street and smiling at them and saying to the child's mother "awh your son/daughter is so gorgeous" because I'm a woman. On the other hand my husband who was brought up in India finds it strange when I tell him not to stare at kids when we're out as it can creep out the kids' parents. Where he grew up he could just pick up the neighbourhood kids and swing them around and give them sweets and no one would bat an eyelid. Nothing sinister in it, he just adores kids and in the way people are supposed to adore kids. He is horrified to think that people could consider harming children in any way way let alone the way paedophiles do but because of a small minority everyone else has to tiptoe around children, it's such a shame because all children are beautiful and we just can't that so easily in today's society. All I can is be patient, you might still have some wait for your kids to give you grandchildren. In the meantime, you can dream! x
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Mar 07
Thank you so much for your insightful response. I can see that I have much in common with your husband. I do especially find little girls so adorable, and as I said, it is just the grandfather thing kicking in I believe. I would no sooner harm a child than your husband would. I think it is the responsibility of all adults to protect children everywhere. Thanks again for your "best comment."
1 person likes this
@anonymili (3140)
4 Mar 07
Thanks for the best response vote, much appreciated. I thought that I'd mention my mother has been a childminder for over 30 years now and I have loved each and every child she has looked after over the years. There's a special bond between her and the kids she's looked after and to this day she gets Christmas cards from kids she looked after who are in high school, or university or even got married and had their own kids. In recent years, being a digital camera enthusiast I've taken photos of "mum's kids" playing on the slide or swings or building little lefo houses or shapes when I've managed to get around there early enough after work and given the printed photos to mum to give to the parents or even emailed them directly and they've loved seeing them and always ask for more. It's always heart-breaking for mum (and us too) when the kids leave to go to nursery full time, it feels like part of the family has been taken away but it's lovely to receive updates as we do with 90% of the kids she's helped nurture over the years. x
1 person likes this
@hartnsoul (558)
• Philippines
5 Mar 07
I understand how it can be frustrating to be in such a situation. Parents can be very protective especially with their young girls. My daughter is six months today. Even when we go out, she smiles to waiters and salesladies at the store. I don't mind coz it looks really cute. However, when she's bigger and knowing that the society can be implicative of corrupting minds, I see myself to be a protective parents as well. Of course, there are ways to teach my little girl to be wary of strangers but not be rude. My question though, are you married? Do you have kids? My dad loves my daughter so much and he even brags about her with his colleagues who still at 53 doesn't have a little bundle to play with. You are definitely right, grand kids are a great deal of kids to spoil. After a long time of me and my siblings being non-babies, my parents enjoy and feel relieved whenever they see my daughter smile and coo back to them. :)
• Canada
5 Mar 07
I was married a long time ago and have kids age 30 and 28. My daughter is married and my son lives with his girlfriend, but unfortunately, no grandkids yet!
• Canada
4 Mar 07
I agree with you to a certain extent. It's one thing to teach our kids not to talk to strangers or get in a car with them or something, but when they get scolded for smiling at someone?? Thats a little much, especially considering that her mother was right there. On the other hand, in todays world, it's almost impossible to know who we can trust. Kids go missing every day, or are subjected to terrible abuse at the hands of paedophiles, and the parental instinct to protect our children naturally kicks in when a simple action may set the danger signal off. I'm sorry that you were subjected to such a blatant act of mistrust though. We do have to remember that not everyone is the same, and that there are still some friendly people left in the world.
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Mar 07
I guess it is a sign of the times. It wasn't always like this. I can remember growing up on the streets of Vancouver and talking to pretty well anyone. Sure, there have always been strange people around, but back then there seemed to be a lot less of them.
@filchi (291)
• Netherlands
4 Mar 07
I have a 4 yrs old kid, and whenever we go out, she talk to anyone...scares me though but as long as i am around it is ok...she is just a very sweet kid and very friendly.
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Mar 07
That is what is special about little ones. You when they smile, they have no other motive. Children are so honest and open when they are small. It is such a shame that they must be taught to fear strangers. But, I guess that is the reality of the world we live in.
@brokentia (10396)
• United States
4 Mar 07
Well, I hope you get some grandchildren soon. :) I am a mother of seven children, of which, the ages go all the way down to 5 years old. My youngest is a huge sweetie and very friendly. Even though I do teach him to stay away from strangers and to not talk to them, he has learned that when he is with me or Dad that he is allowed to talk and smile when we are out and about. Maybe it has something to do with my upbringing. I was taught to be friendly and smile or strike up a conversation with strangers. And no offense when I say this...but more so to older people that are the grandparent type. Because they are the people that often enjoy the friendly smile and small conversation the most. :) So, if it were my daughter, I would have smiled back at you myself and hugged my daughter for delivering you such a smile also. :)
1 person likes this
• Canada
4 Mar 07
Thank you for the response. I wish more parents would think like you. After all, nothing is going to happen in a public place while you are there. Lots of people find young children adorable and would never think of harming any on them.
@profclark (512)
• United States
5 Mar 07
I agree. If the mother was there, she should have smiled at you and let you know that she saw you. Too much fear in the atmosphere.
1 person likes this
@imsilver (1669)
• Canada
5 Mar 07
I've taught my children that they aren't to go anywhere with a stranger no matter what he tells them but I also tell them that strangers are only friends you haven't met yet. When we are out for a walk, I always say "hi" or "good morning" to people we pass by on the sidewalk and have often stopped to have conversations with people we don't know. I've tried hard to teach them how to be safe without having them be afraid of everyone. It's a fine line I'm sure but my children seem to be handling it okay. It helps that we live in such a small town though. I'm sure I'd be much more rigid about the strangers thing if we lived in a big city. People here aren't really strangers. Even if I don't know them personally, I've either heard about them or know someone who knows them.
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 07
the world has just gone bad i guess. i have people that smile at my son all the time and since he is only 5 months old he usally gives them a blank stare lol. but i always give that person a smile. there is no harm in smiling.
1 person likes this
• China
4 Mar 07
I love kids too.
1 person likes this
@Marie2473 (8523)
• Sweden
4 Mar 07
he he he, this reminds me of my mom. She had a kid when she just turned 16, then came I and then my little brother. She has told us all to WAIT, to not get kids at that age.. To wait until we have explored life. My older brother is now 38, I am 26 and my younger brother is 23, none of us have kids. We have all been scared of by her :-) Now she is always nagging about her not having any grandchildren. I will have kids, but i am not ready yet. Myolder brother has decided NOT to have any and my young brother has no clue =) When it comes to children smiling and u smiling at them i di belive that parents are overreacting sometimes. The meaning is not to make them scared of all other adults, however I do uinderstand their fear. We do live in a scary world today!
1 person likes this
• United States
4 Mar 07
I totally agree with this and it's the wonderful changing world we live in. I love to make goofy faces to random kids at times but I hold myself back for fear of being handcuffed fora funny gesture. It's another one of those cases where the bad ruined the good. There seems to be a huge lack of faith in anyone anymore and who you can trust. This leads people to trust no one. You never know when that guy that is tossing a ball with your kid may pick your kid up and kidnap him/her. It's a sad reality that we now live in. Whatever happened to love thy neighbor?
1 person likes this
• India
4 Mar 07
ur correct but we cant able to find peoples that they are good or bad in our first sight.. so i wont trust strangers.... then i wont allow my child to talk with new strangers.....
1 person likes this
@Aussies2007 (5339)
• Australia
5 Mar 07
Welcome to the 21st century. In Australia... it is now forbidden for parents to take pictures of their children in a public swimming pool... on the chance that they might be peadophiles taking pictures of young children in swimming suits. The government attitude has always been that it is too hard to catch the real bad guys. Solution... accuse everyone and let them prove that they are not guilty. Everytime a minority group is screaming for protection from something... that is what the government does. It punishes everyone.
@Kchele (77)
• United States
5 Mar 07
It is a shame, but with the stuff that goes on today, can you really blame parents for it? It seems like child abduction is at a high rate lately. It is sad that you have to be so careful walking down the street with your child. You turn on the news and there is another story about an abduction or child molestation. I'm sure your smile at the little girl was harmless and I really see nothing wrong with it. I am sure the mother was doing what she felt was right and didn't take into consideration your feelings or her daughters for that matter. I am really sorry it made you feel so bad. :(
• Canada
5 Mar 07
It never changes!!!! I once wrote a letter to the newspaper defending a senior platonic male friend of mine who said the exact same thing. All of his grandchildren are in Germany, and he lives in my hometown, in Canada. Anyway, my reply to his letter addressed parents. I can understand fear when the children are not with a close trusted family member, but when they are with their parents, it should be OK. If you smile at someone, and she smiles back, if she's with her parent, there should be no danger. I think the mother over-reacted!!
• United States
5 Mar 07
I have a 2 1/2 year old daughter and she is just so friendly and smiles at anybody. But like what everybody is saying, nowadays, it is such a crazy world. Perverts, pedophiles, etc...these are the kind of people that would make the parents scared to have their children talk to strangers and just be carefree. Me, as long as I hold my daughters hand, a smile or a comment, I don't mind at all. But if a stranger would touch her like her cheeks or the curls on her hair, I can't help myself but bristle with that especially if the stranger is a man...no matter how innocent the gesture was. That is a big big no no for me and I don't care if the stranger would think am crazy but with this world we live in...we always need to be vigilant.