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Old 10-30-2007, 03:26 PM   #21
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I recently moved into a neighborhood that has more children in it than any previous neighborhood I've ever lived in. It's a dirt road off a main street and it's a sweet little community. When I walk my Chihuahua up and down the dirt road, kids come running to visit him. So I know all of the kids in my new neighborhood but none of their parents. One day I was walking the dog to pick up the mail when a little girl I'd never seen before came running out of her yard to see my dog. She was about 9 and we were chatting about her dog and mine when suddenly her mother yelled from the porch in an angry voice for her to get in the house. It was a huge wake up call for me. I realized I have to be verrry careful. I don't spend much time with kids so I'm kind of naive sometimes. So now I just let the kids pet the dog for a minute and then I move on quickly. They follow me sometimes all the way to my door. I never thought I'd be uncomfortable with sweet neighborhood kids but apparently parents are suspicious of anyone these days--mostly men but there are crazy women out there who kidnap children, too.
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Old 10-30-2007, 03:58 PM   #22
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i wonder what the effect all of this is on children.

it's a complex thing. in the past, molestation, rape, abuse -- all of these things were wildly underreported, and so it's a good thing that we're much more aware of it now, and that there's a more open attitude towards discussing these things and doing something about it and equipping children with knowledge so that they are less likely to be taken advantage of by an adult.

but most adults are harmless. most men are harmless. most adults want children to grow up safe and happy and healthy, and most like to participate in activites that help children do such things, whether it's scouting or swimming lessons. there's got to be something a bit wrong bringing up a child in a world where they are not not to be aware, but to be suspicious, and that strangers are to be feared. it's the threading of fear into the fabric of life that i think can do much damage to a child -- the world is going to get big and dark and scary as an adult, why start so young? and i also wonder, if a child is taught that they can only trust their parents, then what does a child do when their parents might be the abusers, either physically or emotionally?

it strikes me as all so sad.
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:03 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by joyfulgirl
She was about 9 and we were chatting about her dog and mine when suddenly her mother yelled from the porch in an angry voice for her to get in the house.
There could be other reasons for her mother yelling at her. She could have been disobeying any one of several things her mother had already told her a number of times. It could be that the mother was attempting to tech her daughter not to bug adults.

It may not have been you.
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:53 PM   #24
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I don't spend much time with kids so I'm kind of naive sometimes
Same here-I understand why people are afraid but it hurts your feelings too. It's not just the parents, you see it in the kids too. Wild kids and certain types of kids make me nervous, but other kids I am fine with and when I try to be friendly with them it can actually get to the point where I feel uncomfortable and like I'm doing something wrong when I'm not. Sometimes when a kid is just so open and natural you can tell how the parents teach them-and I doubt they're so open that they would go off with a stranger, at least I hope not. I'm not blaming parents at all for being cautious and afraid, but there does have to be a balance-the question is how to properly go about that I guess in the way that is best for parents and kids. It can get to the point where you avoid all interaction with kids for those reasons.
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Old 10-30-2007, 06:04 PM   #25
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There could be other reasons for her mother yelling at her. She could have been disobeying any one of several things her mother had already told her a number of times. It could be that the mother was attempting to tech her daughter not to bug adults.

It may not have been you.
I thought of that, too. But it was still a wake-up call that I should be very conscious about my interractions with the neighborhood kids. There's also a race issue; it's a mixed neighborhood and I'm in the minority (I guess I'm part of the gentrification, sadly). Though it's rarely an issue, you never know what it is that's going to trigger some ancient tension.
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