Tracey Spicer wrote an article “I don’t want my kids sitting next to a man on a plane”
This is my response:
I feel like I have to qualify that I don’t have my own children. I work with children.
I talk to them. Ask them Big Questions through my art practice.
And am attempting to get adults they don’t know to listen to them.
Yes, this qualifies as “strangers”.
Why? Well a few reasons:
– to demonstrate the boundaries and limitations of the broad sweeping statement : Stranger Danger.
– to promote the child’s voice. We don’t listen hard-enough to them do we? As a childless 30-something I would have no contact with kids if I didn’t work with them. This is an increasing reality for many adults. We segregate them to schools and child-only areas – not only cotton-woolling them but also denying the insight, humour, joy and collective reminder of our responsibility for the future children provide a society.
– to empower children. When we talk about stranger danger we assume the child is incapable of judging an adult, of using their intuition, of developing ways of avoiding situations they don’t want to be. Children are often better judges of character than us adults are.
– I don’t want a generation growing up missing out on the spontaneity and joy of serendipitous moments with people they don’t know. The smiles, the helping hands, connections.
Tracey, when you make statements like this you are not only disempowering your children – you are teaching them to be cynical. It is, of course, good to be cautious – but your article is full of bias.
Males get such a bad rap. Really they do. And children and men miss out. Really.
Remember the feeling of climbing your Dad?
Or an uncle swinging you in the air?
Of the things you learnt from your friends’ fathers.
The way you’d observe strangers behaving. Learn from them. Admire them. Crush on them.
As an adult, do you have moments that sometimes make your day with someone you don’t know?
The statistics you are quoting are misleading. As pointed out here.
Instead, read about how long you would need to leave your child on the street to guarantee they were kidnapped.
Answer: 750,000 years.
Think bigger Tracey. It will put your mind at rest.