The "Stranger Danger" Myth
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26-05-2012, 01:57 AM
RE: The "Stranger Danger" Myth
(25-05-2012 10:04 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Here's what my kids learned at a very young age.

If you are lost, in trouble, or in any other way need an adults help (ie, I am unconscious, a friend is hurt etc):

1) look for the closest TWO adults. Any two. Man, woman, together or not, so long as you can speak to them both at once.

2) quickly walk to them (keep it simple, but practice walking fast, not running)

3) say loudly and clearly, "can you please help me?"

It's something you rehearse with your kids so they understand physically what to do, and it's something that is simple, so they can do it when they feel panicked. It accomplishes several things. First, going to two adults is safer (predators rarely work together, so even if one of the people is a predator, they are less likely to act on it, since the person they are with is either a stranger or someone whom they would hide it from.

Second, a child walking quickly translates as a sense of urgency when viewed by an adult, as opposed to running, which is more often initially seen as play.

Third, by having a simple phrase with the words please and help, it gets immediate attention. It also usually causes a release of stress in the kid. In most circumstances they'll burst out bawling. That's pretty much the best thing that can happen once they've gotten the attention of a stranger. It draws even more attention, and most kids, even when blubbering, can point to a hurt friend, or spit out, "I'm lost."

The technique is based both on how kids learn, and the statistics noted above. By going directly to a stranger, immediately after realizing they need help is the safest thing a kid can do. The sooner they get help, the closer you'll be, and the safer they'll be.

Something we taught back when I taught a self defense class.
Jesus Christ, and to think that here all we get as kids is "don't talk to strangers!".

I don't know what they teach now. But your way is very good I must say, makes a shit load of sense, especially the 2 adults thing.

As for strangers and abductions, would abductions be counting things like rape/murder etc... where the child/body is found before a crime is reported?
Because that is a pretty big thing about the don't accept lollies from strangers. I mean people don't just abduct child for fun (well some people might), there is usually a reason.



As for the thing about people making a big deal about, yes it is a fraction of deaths or whatever compared to other things like car crashes etc.. BUT it does happen and so these things do need to be taught.
Its like say the number of people killed because of them sticking metal knives in a toaster is really low, and so they decide not to teach people not to do that. Then people don't know and that statistic will go up.
Same with stranger danger. Maybe the statistic is low because the education is getting across.
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26-05-2012, 02:36 AM
RE: The "Stranger Danger" Myth
(26-05-2012 01:57 AM)earmuffs Wrote:  As for the thing about people making a big deal about, yes it is a fraction of deaths or whatever compared to other things like car crashes etc.. BUT it does happen and so these things do need to be taught.
Its like say the number of people killed because of them sticking metal knives in a toaster is really low, and so they decide not to teach people not to do that. Then people don't know and that statistic will go up.
Same with stranger danger. Maybe the statistic is low because the education is getting across.

Totally missed the point.
No one "educates" (read: fills with unrealistic fear) their child about Lightning Danger.
And being struck by lightning is twice as likely to happen as a stranger abduction.
No one freaks their kids out with tales of Airplane Crash Danger, either.
And it's also more likely to happen.

What's being argued against here is the frothing-at-the-mouth paranoia/frenzy
that's refers to itself as Stranger Danger "education", which is insanely out of
proportion to the actual danger it purports to warn against.

What's not being argued against here is simply telling a child to be wary.

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26-05-2012, 03:06 PM
RE: The "Stranger Danger" Myth
First off, I have no idea how education about possible dangers is counter productive.

Secondly, I am positive we are all educated on the dangers of lightning. Were you never told to stay away from open fields and anything conductive when lightning strikes?

What would be the downside to making kids aware of potential danger? I don't get it.

Not making them aware has a terrible downside though doesn't it? I mean there are people out there totally unrelated to our kids that actually do want to abduct them. If I weren't to warn my kid to stay away from strangers offering candy, she'd already be gone I'm sure. Kids are dumb, until they learn. They are unrelentingly trusting and unaware.

Keep in mind i am in no way saying that the statistics are wrong that you have presented, I'm just saying I'm not sure why they should mean that education of potential danger is a bad thing. And before you ask, I have already begun educating my daughter on the dangers possible by relatives as well.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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26-05-2012, 03:13 PM
RE: The "Stranger Danger" Myth
I'm not sure about others, but I most definitely teach my kids the danger of strangers.

I think what the data indicates is that we need to put into perspective the things like the degree of danger. The point is to put more emphasis on more imminent dangers. Not to ignore the stranger thing. The stranger danger campaign was a waste, not because it was invaluable, but because it wasted those resources when they could have been used to better protect kids.

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26-05-2012, 05:01 PM
RE: The "Stranger Danger" Myth
That's funny that you mention stranger danger. An animator on youtube just posted this video on the subject. It lampoons the old "Super Friends" PSAs that used to come on the TV back in the 80s. The odd looking character is "Taco Man."



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26-05-2012, 07:17 PM
RE: The "Stranger Danger" Myth
(26-05-2012 03:06 PM)lucradis Wrote:  First off, I have no idea how education about possible dangers is counter productive.

No one said it was. Let me quote myself:

"What's being argued against here is the frothing-at-the-mouth paranoia/frenzy
that's refers to itself as Stranger Danger "education", which is insanely out of
proportion to the actual danger it purports to warn against.
What's not being argued against here is simply telling a child to be wary."


Quote:Secondly, I am positive we are all educated on the dangers of lightning.

1.) With all due respect, exactly how can you be positive of this?
2.) I received no such education.

Quote:Were you never told to stay away from open fields and anything conductive when lightning strikes?

1.) Yes. I was never told this.
2.) Why are you asking me this? You just said you were positive we've all had "lightning education".


(OK. My last few responses were mostly tongue-in-cheek; Big Grin
my hopefully humorous way of saying "In a debate, specifics matter."
However, I really haven't had any "lightning education" other than my
mother yelling for us to get out of the pool during a storm, and then
getting in deep shit and suffering the consequences for openly defying her.)



Quote:What would be the downside to making kids aware of potential danger? I don't get it.

I suspect you don't get it because no one is talking about "making kids aware of potential danger".
Your flaw is equating the insane Stranger Danger ethos with merely "making kids aware of potential danger".
There is a big big big difference between the two.

Quote:Not making them aware has a terrible downside though doesn't it?

1.) Again, being merely aware of the astoundingly remote chance of being abducted by a stranger is not the issue.
2.) You're assuming that being aware helps in some way. You're also implying (albeit indirectly) that the 115 children who
are abducted by strangers every year are somehow not aware. My point is that being aware = no abduction is not
necessarily true, i.e. a false analogy.

Quote:I mean there are people out there totally unrelated to our kids that actually do want to abduct them.

And there are actually bolts of lightning out there that could strike them.
And there are actually airplanes out there that will crash and it's technically
possible that my 8-year-old son will be a passenger on one of them.
And both of these scenarios are more likely to happen than an abduction by a stranger.
Yet there are no PSA's, pamphlets, posters, after-school specials, parent-teacher conferences,
awareness classes, neighborhood safety meetings, or media hype about Lightning Danger or Plane Crash Defense.

Quote:If I weren't to warn my kid to stay away from strangers offering candy, she'd already be gone I'm sure.

Really? So no trick-or-treating on Halloween?
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I have two grown daughters, one 8-year-old boy.
Over 50 years of parenting experience.
I have never even heard of this scenario playing out.
Were you to dig up one or two anecdotes, it would not take
away from the fact that "Strangers With Candy" is an old wives' tale.
And a cool Comedy Central series.

Strangers with Candy

School Alerts Parents: Local Man Seen Talking to Kids!

Talk to Strangers: A Parenting Myth Debunked

Look, I'm not trying to be an ass.
No one wants harm to come to their child or any child.
But teaching an irrational fear of strangers to children is unnecessary and wrong.
This is what Stranger Danger programs are pushing. And it amounts to bullshit.
The "danger risk" doesn't even come close to justifying the panic-inducing fervor.

Apologies for the post length!
Smokin
Peace

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26-05-2012, 07:22 PM
RE: The "Stranger Danger" Myth
(25-05-2012 10:04 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  Here's what my kids learned at a very young age.

If you are lost, in trouble, or in any other way need an adults help (ie, I am unconscious, a friend is hurt etc):

1) look for the closest TWO adults. Any two. Man, woman, together or not, so long as you can speak to them both at once.

2) quickly walk to them (keep it simple, but practice walking fast, not running)

3) say loudly and clearly, "can you please help me?"

It's something you rehearse with your kids so they understand physically what to do, and it's something that is simple, so they can do it when they feel panicked. It accomplishes several things. First, going to two adults is safer (predators rarely work together, so even if one of the people is a predator, they are less likely to act on it, since the person they are with is either a stranger or someone whom they would hide it from.

Second, a child walking quickly translates as a sense of urgency when viewed by an adult, as opposed to running, which is more often initially seen as play.

Third, by having a simple phrase with the words please and help, it gets immediate attention. It also usually causes a release of stress in the kid. In most circumstances they'll burst out bawling. That's pretty much the best thing that can happen once they've gotten the attention of a stranger. It draws even more attention, and most kids, even when blubbering, can point to a hurt friend, or spit out, "I'm lost."

The technique is based both on how kids learn, and the statistics noted above. By going directly to a stranger, immediately after realizing they need help is the safest thing a kid can do. The sooner they get help, the closer you'll be, and the safer they'll be.

Something we taught back when I taught a self defense class.

Meant to reply earlier.
This is great advice for kids in trouble.
However, I don't think kids should be walking around scared of their own shadows,
suspicious of every adult stranger, which is what Stranger Danger programs espouse.

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26-05-2012, 07:25 PM
RE: The "Stranger Danger" Myth
(26-05-2012 05:01 PM)ghostexorcist Wrote:  That's funny that you mention stranger danger. An animator on youtube just posted this video on the subject. It lampoons the old "Super Friends" PSAs that used to come on the TV back in the 80s. The odd looking character is "Taco Man."




Haha, well I'm certainly not saying that kids should get into a stranger's car.
Funny vid, though! Big Grin

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26-05-2012, 07:28 PM
RE: The "Stranger Danger" Myth
(26-05-2012 03:13 PM)Stark Raving Wrote:  I think what the data indicates is that we need to put into perspective the things like the degree of danger.
The point is to put more emphasis on more imminent dangers. Not to ignore the stranger thing.

Exactly.
The attention Stranger Danger has received is disproportionate to the actual danger. Thumbsup

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26-05-2012, 08:18 PM
RE: The "Stranger Danger" Myth
Not at all fond of the attitude received so I'm bowing out.

But here is where I read this

"My point is that Stranger Danger "education"
is completely unnecessary and has been found to be counterproductive. " -Quidsane


That's where I got counterproductive.

If by education you were talking about the grand scale assault that took place a few years back then I would still say it was overblown and a misuse of resources but still not exactly counter productive.

Also if your parents never made you aware of the dangers of lightning then you are of a small minority I would imagine. Or you likely live somewhere this is not a common occurrence. I'm not going to really get into it because it seems like a very stupid argument to enter into.

All I was saying is that making kids aware of potential danger is never a bad thing, how could it be? I also highly doubt that most kids are going to be terrified of their shadows because of stranger danger advertisements. I lived through the real big push of these things and I don't remember it bothering me one way or another. Sure some kids will become terrified to leave their homes but how high of a number is that going to be really? And would those kids not likely just find something else to be terrified of?

Whatever, attitude sucks here so bye.

"I think of myself as an intelligent, sensitive human being with the soul of a clown which always forces me to blow it at the most important moments." -Jim Morrison
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