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July 10, 2012 at 5:24 am #603935
My sons friend told his mother that a stranger (man) gave my 5 year old a piece of candy through the fence at Coleman pool picnic area. When I asked my son he confirmed that they were approached. He stated that the man asked if the boys were animals in The zoo and gave my son a peanut butter cup. They both confirmed he had an “8 year old with him. This may have been an innocent mistake but now we are freaked out. Who does that? Please don’t approach other people’s children, it’s creepy!July 10, 2012 at 9:51 pm #763350
Yep. And Oprah will tell you to go into the bathrooms first, before you let your children in, to be sure there’s no serial killer in there because it happened to someone once. Be cautious, yes, but don’t live your life like you’re surrounded by demons.July 10, 2012 at 10:17 pm #763351
Caity: I feel your concern and had something similar happen last week with my 4 yr old — it was an innocent grandfatherly type trying to be kind in the Junction (I was 3 steps behind my daughter & he saw me with her), but he was trying to offer her some nuts from a bag he was just opening as she stopped in front of him to wait for me to cross the alley and she has a SEVERE nut allergy — freaked me out for sure but was a good educational moment about strangersJuly 11, 2012 at 1:27 am #763352
jissy has a good point. Even if you don’t suspect that this action was related to child luring (frankly, I’d still be suspicious) you never know if the child is diabetic, has a nut allergy – the possibilities (and dangers) are numerous. I may think Oprah is a nut job on certain issues, but I also don’t think checking the bathroom first is a bad idea, either. Better yet- go with them. I don’t envy parents these days; it’s such a fine line between too much supervision and not enough.July 11, 2012 at 2:29 am #763353
Less than 10% of the child molesters are strangers as shown in this feature. This doesn’t mean your kid won’t react to nuts or have sugar issues, but I’d worry less about the random person than the ones you actually know.July 11, 2012 at 3:02 am #763354
you know some of the older generation just don’t get it! It doesn’t mean they are preying upon your child. My Father (rest in peace) loved children. He and my mother (of 8) also adopted 2 more children. Every older person is not out to take or molest your child. My dad out in public would offer a treat or say you have a cute child. He was so upset when I would say Dad, you can’t talk to other peoples kids! I would try and explain that most think it’s okay, but some think it’s toooooo weird! I have a super out out out going 5 year old, we talk to EVERYONE!!!!!! BUT we also talk about what’s not okay and what is okay. You have to also trust your gut and trust your child will tell you. And teach what is okay and what is not.July 11, 2012 at 4:13 am #763355
the sad thing is that all this emphasis on safety has produced a society in which children are less safe than they were before
there was a time when a lost child simply told the nearest adult and was quickly reunited with their parents
when no-one would hesitate to grab a child that was wandering into the road
or to chastise a child bullying another
all of our children are less safe than they were before because we have been taught to think the worst of everyone who interacts with our children
while under our noses, friends, family members and trusted authority figures still molest our children…
we need to find a way to create balanceJuly 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm #763356
JoB nailed it in one word – balance.
Balance is not achieved by averaging out two extremes.July 11, 2012 at 4:33 pm #763357July 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm #763358
“Please don’t approach other people’s children, it’s creepy!”
You are part of the problem. It’s sad and disgusting that adults, especially men, cannot interact with children in any way without being branded a “creep” or a pedophile. Do you really think that, in a crowded pool, with tons of witnesses, that he would seriously try anything? The paranoia in today’s society regarding predators is out of control.July 11, 2012 at 8:24 pm #763359
I don’t think it is creepy that man with a child spoke to her child through the fence but I DO think it is creepy that he gave her child candy..especially a peanut butter cup. So many kids are allergic to peanuts these days it is never safe to do that. Even when I was a child we were told not to take candy from strangers…everyone ought to know that is inappropriate. But talking a little? Kidding them? Not that.July 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm #763360
@kennerdoloman; that was exactly my first thought; how can we expect men to embrace fatherhood if all men are demonized as potential child molesters, if they just talk to a child? if anything, we need to be more encouraging of men interacting with children; it’s good for men and the kids
and the poor grandpa; oh my, being told not to talk to kids; way too sad; my dad is 86 and has practically raised his grandkids, all of whom will tell you they are the lucky ones to have him in their lives
I also found the OP very creepy/sad; glad to see I’m not aloneJuly 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm #763361
generational differences; when I was a kid, all older people delighted in giving kids candy; many still do; they’re being kind, reaching out, being friendly; and the peanut allergy craze only began in last 20 yrs; I’ve been working in child care industry for way longer than that; prior to 15 – 20 yrs ago, every kid in every child care, school, preschool, were all given peanut butter; so an older person is very likely not aware of the current fears about nut allergies; I’ve worked with thousands of children and rarely met any who are really allergic to peanutsJuly 11, 2012 at 9:23 pm #763362
My grandson is deathly allergic to peanuts. Can’t eat anything that has touched one or it is a trip to the ER if the epi pen won’t work. It is not an imaginary allergy.
I am 60…I was always told not to take candy from strangers. Once there were four of us girls trying to sell lemonade by the roadside, late 50’s..a man drove up and tried to lure us to his car with candy. We ran …and we were happy,not fearful , to talk to strangers back then,men, women, kids didn’t matter, but we knew something was creepy about that situation. Sometimes creepy is just creepy.
Of course we always took candy from the old folks next door or other people we knew.Never a stranger.July 11, 2012 at 9:55 pm #763363
Maybe he wasn’t a weirdo, but you do NOT encourage kids to talk to strangers or take things from them. You don’t teach kids that this is okay because “well, I’m a safe person.” Yeah, maybe you are, but you’re making it easier for a non-safe person to get away with luring that child. There’s a reason “don’t take candy from strangers” is such a common expression. It’s one thing to say hello to a kid while the parent is standing there and quite another to give them something when they are not with an adult.
The original poster did not say people can’t talk to someone else’s child. But this guy gave something to a child with the parent not present. Yes, that is creepy. Sorry to everyone who laments the “good ol’ days” where people weren’t “paranoid” but you know what happened in the good’ ol days? Sex abuse that just didn’t get reported because it wasn’t okay to talk about. Sorry, but there were no good ol’ days without predators.
As someone who works with kids, I’m very aware that most molesters know the child. But you know what? Some don’t. Some lure kids away and it’s not okay for adults to confuse kids with a “sometimes it’s okay but sometimes it’s not” message.
The kids did the right thing by telling an adult what happened. That confirms good parenting is happening.July 11, 2012 at 10:03 pm #763364
We as adults must understand as much as we love children, you should never offer them candy or a ride. Unfortunately there are many strange/warped/dangerous people out amoung us. Just last month a killer was amoungst us. And the guy that was “tackling” women in Lincoln Park, then charged with rape of a child. Mothers/fathers/grandparents MUST protect their kids, and the rest of us need to respect that.July 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm #763365
OP said “Please don’t approach other people’s children, it’s creepy!”; I strongly disagree
if children are properly supervised, should be a non-issue for the most partJuly 12, 2012 at 1:53 am #763366
This would not of happened if someone could watch the creep by ziplining over him. Joke – yes but really Diane your experience does not reflect my own. I have only volunteered with children for a couple of years and have had a nut allergy in every group. A man poking a peanut cup through a fence at a child is strange. You say that if the child was properly supervised this would be a non-issue. This would indicate that a parent NEVER can take his or her eyes off her child even if it is to address another child or situation.July 12, 2012 at 6:11 am #763367
“Who is going to molest a child in a crowded pool?” Yes it has been in news, boys and girls. I don’t remember now if it was in our area or before I moved here. Also 2 different times as a child I was offered a ride by strange men. Once in the country and once in a city neighborhood. They have always been out there waiting for the right time; a child unattended. Both times I was walking home from school.July 12, 2012 at 6:26 am #763368
Umm, where was the mom/person who WAS SUPPOSED to be watching the child who was approched?July 12, 2012 at 7:16 am #763369
when at a public pool, I’m betting it’s not easy keeping your active child tethered to your side at all times. It’s so easy to look away for just a sec, esp. if you have other kids with you. Let’s not blame the parent here. You never offer food to a strange child without getting permission from the parent. Period.July 12, 2012 at 11:45 am #763370
I don’t think this is a real issue. It only highlights how paranoid we’ve become despite living in a much safer society. Crime is down. As to peanut allergies. They impact less then one percent of kids. All children have food intorlerances they need to over come. Its part of development.July 12, 2012 at 2:09 pm #763371
but, if it’s your kid who is being impacted, it’s a big deal…think about it.
And don’t offer food to any children that you don’t know, and haven’t checked with their parents. Problem solved…until the next time it happens.
EdSane…would you be saying “not a real issue”, if that peanut butter cup had sent that child to the hospital?July 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm #763372
Huh. 17 posts before someone cast aspersions on the parent’s attentiveness. I’m surprised all the Judgy McJudgersons on this board were able to hold out that long. The OP says her son’s friend told his mother–it’s possible that the OP wasn’t even there, that her son was a guest of someone else. And yeah, it’s creepy. I don’t care if your dad or your grandpa loves children and just wants to be their friends. The proper approach is to seek out the parent of a child and ask if you can say hi, or if the child can have something.
Also, hate to break it to you all, but “the good old days” did not exist. Back in the day, abuse and molestation happened-it was just kept quiet. Victims were either disbelieved, or told that “nice people” didn’t talk about these things. How old is Sandusky? How long do you think he’s been a pedophile?
I don’t think every stranger that smiles at my kid is a predator. In fact, I assume that most people are nice, decent people. However, the price for being wrong is too high, whether it leads to a child being abused or getting sick from tainted food, or having an allergic reaction to something in the food of unknown origin. Therefore, my kids were always told to look to me before speaking with a stranger, and to NEVER take anything offered them by a stranger without my ok.
And yes, I know that not every abuser is a stranger, but with kids you work one concept at a time, and you pay attention to who they are alone with.July 12, 2012 at 5:24 pm #763373
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