Who qualifies as a stranger to a young child?

Lory was out in her driveway building a snowman with a couple of the neighborhood children when a 4-year-old Evan asked if he could help. Lory replied that she was happy to have him help but that he first needed to go tell his mother where he was.

Evan asked her “Are you a stranger?” Lory thought that in this case is was probably best to tell him that yes, she is a stranger. He then questioned her “Well are you a good stranger or a bad stranger?” Lory declared herself to be a good stranger and insisted that regardless he still needed to tell his mom where he was.

The concept of who qualifies as a stranger and who doesn’t is a difficult one for kids to grasp. Certainly Evan’s mom didn’t intend for him to be questioning people about their stranger status!

Instead of teaching kids about stranger danger, it’s better to give them simple rules. For example you may want to teach your kids to always let you know whenever they leave the house where they are going, who they will be with and when they will be back. The simpler the rule, the more easily they will remember it and follow it.

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