I was at the store the other day when I came across a woman holding out an apple for the taking. I wasn’t sure if she was legit or not, so I did what any normal girl with a dilemma would do. Slyly take a picture and text it to my mom and my best friend to get their opinion of the situation.
My mom quickly responded, “STRANGER DANGER, RUN AWAY.” My best friend, “You should take it, she seems legit.” My grandmother, who was with me, just rolled her eyes and walked away… laughing.
Later on, when retelling the story to my husband – I wonder why he doesn’t like to go shopping with me – I started thinking about how strange it is that we teach our children the importance of Stranger Danger and not taking candy from strangers.
My son was easy, he is shy and naturally shies away from people he isn’t familiar with. We taught him well, so well that once when he was about 7, he saw a dark colored van driving by with no windows and started screaming, look it’s one of those candy vans you said to stay away from! FYI- someone was having their house painted and this was the painters work van. But he at least got the gist of what we were trying to teach him.
My daughter on the other hand…. has zero problem taking candy from anyone. Ever.
We have a very nice mail man who we see 6 times a week and hands out peppermints to the neighborhood kids. This might seem weird now a days. But the first time this happened, my son was in the front yard helping with yard work while I was in the backyard. The mailman had him go get me so that he could introduce himself and ask my permission to give my son a peppermint. This was great! Then the next day came around and my daughter was outside with my son and when offered the candy, she took the peppermint and popped it into her mouth without a second thought. Thankfully, I came around the corner about the same time and explained to them all that candy was not to be given or taken unless I was there.
This leads me to the same thought circle I have every year at this time of year. How strange is it that we spend all of our children’s small/medium lives teaching them the horrors of stranger danger, and then one night a year we dress them up and take them to every stranger’s house in the neighborhood, in the dark, sending them up to ring the door bell, asking for candy?
Yes, a lot of neighborhoods have festivals and carnivals, and we take the kids to those as well. But we still partake in the strange event that is known as Trick or Treating.
What odd creatures we are…