A couple of weeks ago I wrote Creating memories as a family where I instituted a Fun Family Friday night with a picnic dinner in the living room while watching a movie. The night was such a success, as proven from Little Man telling everyone, that I decided to do it again the following weekend. As my husband and I told Little Man what we were planning on doing for dinner that night the first words out of his mouth were, “and I get to have ice cream with M&M’s on it!” We laughed of course but then the thought struck us that this kid would probably do anything for M&M’s and take them from anybody. We pondered what the correct age is for teaching about stranger danger and decided we may want to bring up the subject with Little Man.
I was a tad worried about how to broach this careful topic. Do I just say, “we don’t take candy from strangers” and leave it at that? How do I explain what a stranger is to this super social kid who says hi to everyone? Do I try to scare him a bit to stress the seriousness of the topic? After my husband and I discussed it we decided our approach should be simple and straightforward. Little Man’s response would let us to know how much he could really understand.
As we called Little Man into the living room I said calmly, “You know we don’t take candy from strangers, right?” Without batting an eye he responded very seriously with, “No we don’t, because Papa Bear said never go with strangers!” My jaw dropped and I realized TV had beat me to the punch. I thought I had seen every Berenstain Bears episode but I guess I missed the one about stranger danger. Just goes to show you that these kids don’t miss a thing!
What things has TV taught your kid that have actually been helpful?