Ever have experiences out in public that make you wonder if we we're slipping off track? I've had a few recently .
While out shopping, I've had a few enounters that left me wondering if we've gone to the crazy place with children. I started down an aisle and a small boy shopping with his mom started to say hello. His mother went into high-alert mode, telling him, "Don't talk to strangers. How many times do I have to tell you never to talk to strangers? Strangers are dangerous!" The little guy started crying, and I backed out of the aisle so the kiddo could calm down.
Awhile later I headed down an aisle and there they were again. This time the kid started wailing and screeching, "The stranger is coming down our aisle". Once again I quickly got out of the way.
On another outing recentlyI overheard a mom tell her two kiddos that they couldn't go and look at something without her "because some bad person might kidnap you".
A few thoughts : I know bad things happen and parents need to teach their children to be cautious. I know what it is like to worry about someone stealing your children. And I am a professional worrier, so parents that excel in the worry department get no flack from me. But what are we doing to our children by making them think everyone they don't know (and on most outings, kids won't know many of the people they see) is about to kidnap them? Isn't there a better way to protect our kids without making them neurotic? I read something today that recommended parents teach their kids be to never go anywhere with a stranger or take anything from a stranger. That seems to be make more sense than teaching kids to assume that everyone they meet is a potential kidnapper.
"You should learn not to make personal remarks. It's very rude".
- Alice in Wonderland
One more thing - in line at the check -out, a woman reached over and picked up something the customer behind her was purchasing and asked, "Was this made in China"? While the startled guy stammered that he didn't know, she turned it over and announced, "No, it's made in Korea. Same thing - they're both our enemies". What? First - no touching, no comments about what other people are buying (unless you love it and must run back and get one for yourself). I understand the idea of buying locally produced goods,but the people in other countries who make things we want to buy are not our enemies; they are working to feed their families just like we are. Our demand for cheaper and cheaper stuff means it takes cheap labor to produce all that junk. We find that cheap labor far away. Back to my original idea - no personal commenting on what other people are buying/doing/eating - unsolicited advice is never welcome nor polite.
What do you do when you encounter situations like this in public? Run for cover? That's just about what I did.