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Don 't Take $$ From Strangers ??

 
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 10:54 am
ebrown_p wrote:
There is a more interesting issue about how we decide which risks to take with our children (or with ourselves), I am thinking about starting a new thread on this...


I'd be interested in that, ebrown. It's something we've discussed here in various ways at various points but I think it's a fascinating subject, and it's something I continue to debate with myself as my kid gets older and more capable. (Finding that balance of adequately but not overly protecting her...)
0 Replies
 
Doowop
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 10:56 am
Walter Hinteler wrote:
boomerang wrote:
I still stand by my original post -- I would call the non-emergency police number and the bus company and report what had happened because I think a stranger tossing money into a kid's lap is really creepy.


Well, that's what I think to be very strange, calling the police and the bus company for such ... minor things, which (might) happen now and then.

But to my experience, Americans are indeed a lot more overprotive and suspicious, quickerat calling the police then it is done here generally.


I'd feel very uneasy about not saying anything to anybody regarding the matter. The kid was obviously with an adult, so it appears to me to be strange behaviour in this day and age, to just drop the money in the kiddies lap without a word to the adult.

I think I would have at least let the bus driver know of the situation, and ask him or her to mention it when back at the depot.
0 Replies
 
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 11:04 am
Some crazy overreactions going on here. I thought Ebrown asked the most relevant question about the kid being properly armed. Laughing Stranger got off the bus first, so this is some kind of emergency why? People do weird things on occasion and give parents the opportunity to explain, teach, caution as they see fit. Some of these creep-detectors are crying crazy wolf. Am I the only uncle that ever shared a little dough with a stranger-child while doling it out to nieces or nephews at an arcade or amusement park? Maybe the kid was overheard talking about losing his lunch money and looked hungry. Who here wouldn't give a lone child $5 in such a situation?

The best parents I know say "Don't talk to strangers" is bunk... and potentially harmful bunk at that. Their children are instructed to, if lost, immediately look for a mom and ask for help. No mom available; look for a dad. No dad either; ask someone who looks like they might be a parent. The important thing is to "talk to a stranger if you need help". Kids have creep detectors too, and if the child is creeped out by someone; asking a stranger to help them contact his/her parents is a damned good idea. Telling them not to talk to strangers is crazy.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 11:07 am
When I was young, I wasn't allowed to take something from strangers besides my parents (or any other known adult) were with me.
But the prime rule was "to be polite to strangers".
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 11:38 am
Yeah, I'm with doowop.

I'd been thinking about that calling the police option, and didn't want to comment because it didn't quite feel right. But I wasn't really putting myself in the situation, just thinking about the call.

Putting myself there...yes, I would have approached the bus driver and said...."that man that just got off put money in my childs lap." then asked if the driver knew him, or there was a history with him.

Based on what boom said that busdriver said about the pick pocket (that is REALLY cool) I'd think the busdriver might have an idea if this was something that had been a problem in the past.



Reading over the posts again, I'm better able to see what has been bothering me about some peoples willingness to let certain things slide, that others would see as something to pay attention to....

Words and phrases have been used here that really bother me. Mostly because of what I said before. We hear someone say something, and don't want to be seen as disagreeing, so we go along. In fact, I'd say that "going along" has created more tragedy than I can imagine right now.

The words and phrases that keep catching in my mind are....risk....chance....in all liklihood....all people are basically good....

1. I really don't give a fat rat's ass what someone says something "in all liklihood" is. Unless you are someone I know, and who's judgement as shown to be sound....how do I know the "someone" who says this isn't an absolute moron when judging what is likely and what is not. I'll trust what I know and how I feel about it thanks.

2. This statement that thrown around by some that "most people are basically good"....I don't deal with most people....I deal with individuals, and I don't know if that individual is good or not. And until I make that judgement, I'll remain alert.
That's another "let's all be nice" phrase that is used to get people to behave in the way you want them to.
Not everyone is going to dispute "most people are good" because....well, it just wouldn't be "nice" to do that.

3. Well, first off, each person must access for themselves how much risk they are willing to accept, or if they want to at all.
Next, what seems like a low risk to some, are high to others, or vice versa.

I watched a documentary about this young man who climbed mountain without any lines to catch him in case of a fall.
He said that people often talk/ask about his risk taking behavior. His response just stuck with me. He said that he was NOT a risk taker at all.

When he made a climb, he did everything in his power to minimize risk on all levels. He went on to say he did not move a finger, toe or any body part even a fraction of an inch unless he was absolutely sure of where he was, what is movement would result in, and if he could go back.

My point is, a person does not have to jeapordize their safety or safety of children, because it is perceived that they need to take some so called risk.

Look at it this way...the risk I'm willing to take on my behalf, or on the behalf of a child, is the risk of maybe appearing to be unfriendly.

If I am appearing unfriendly to someone who doesn't know enough to respect boundaries, I do not feel badly about it at all.

I don't care if I appear odd either.

I do care about feeling safe from harm in my environement, so that I can feel as joyful and alive as I can be.

I'm not at all sure where putting yourself potentially in harms way diminishes joy in life anyway. That mountaireer seemed very joyful, and for his skills and knowledge, was much less of a risktaker than most people.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 11:50 am
Quote:

My point is, a person does not have to jeapordize their safety or safety of children, because it is perceived that they need to take some so called risk.


This is where you are wrong Chai. There was never any real risk to this child or any other child in this story.

There is a difference between real risk and perceived risk. Reacting to perceived risk that is based on fears or preconception in the absence of reason or real danger is what constitutes overreaction.

There are kids who die in bus accidents. Why isn't anyone concerned about the fact this kid was on the bus in the first place?
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 12:18 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
Quote:

My point is, a person does not have to jeapordize their safety or safety of children, because it is perceived that they need to take some so called risk.


This is where you are wrong Chai. There was never any real risk to this child or any other child in this story.

There is a difference between real risk and perceived risk. Reacting to perceived risk that is based on fears or preconception in the absence of reason or real danger is what constitutes overreaction.

There are kids who die in bus accidents. Why isn't anyone concerned about the fact this kid was on the bus in the first place?




One....last....time......

I am not talking about the child in the "story" per se....how many times have I said that now?

In addition....perception is reality. If I perceive a risk, I will not EVER try to talk myself out of it....period.

When I perceive a risk, I observe even more closely than before, and if I subsequently learn something that changes my perception, I would re-evaluate if I still consider it a risk.

I would not ever change my stance of perceiving a risk at the mere suggestion of a person not directly involved that I am over-reacting.

In fact, once again, that is a tactic that someone that may mean you harm would take.....telling you that you are over-reacting, so that you will over-ride your internal alarms and become complacent.

If a person perceives a risk..there is a risk.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 12:38 pm
No Chai, I must emphatically disagree. Perception is not reality.

There are things that are really dangerous... meaning that there is a significant chance that they can do harm.

Some things are harmless... but because of prejudice or misconception are seen as dangerous. Some people see a black man walking down the street and feel at risk. This is a perception of danger that is completely wrong.

Somethings are dangerous... but because we don't understand them we don't see them as risks. The really dangerous things are things that people are sure are harmless. Most kids that are not molested by the scary stranger, they are molested by people the kids and parents trust completely. In spite of this, the stranger is the person we have the biggest emotional reaction to.

Treating things as dangerous when they are truly harmless is a bad thing. You not only lose out on life by having unnecessary fear, but having too many things to fear makes it much harder to react logically to real danger.

Human emotions are often irrational. You can't trust your feelings since your feelings are based on your own prejudices and fears. There is a lot that goes into your feelings that are not rational.

The best thing is to step back from emotion and fear and to think logically about what the real risks are-- and then make logical decisions not based on perception or prejudice.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 12:47 pm
I agreed with all of ebrown's post, but wanted to focus here ...

ebrown_p wrote:
No Chai, I must emphatically disagree. Perception is not reality.
<snip>
The really dangerous things are things that people are sure are harmless. Most kids that are not molested by the scary stranger, they are molested by people the kids and parents trust completely. In spite of this, the stranger is the person we have the biggest emotional reaction to.


~~~

Quote:
How many of these assaults were by family members?

49% of offenders of victims under age 6 were family members.
42% of offenders of victims ages 7-11 were family members.
24% of offenders of victims ages 12 - 17 were family members


http://www.childluresprevention.com/research/molester.asp

Once you add friends and acquaintances

Quote:
Common strategies include:
Befriending parents, particularly single parents, to gain access to their children.
Offering babysitting services to overextended parents or caregivers.
Taking jobs and participating in community events that involve children.
Attending sporting events for children and/or offering to coach children's sports.
Volunteering in youth organizations, offering to chaperone overnight trips.
Loitering in places children frequent - playgrounds, malls, game arcades, etc.
Spending time in Internet gaming and social communities, learning the online interests and lingo of youngsters.
Becoming foster parents.


to the family stats, it would seem best to keep your children away from anyone you know.

~~~

Reality is reality.

~~~
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 02:45 pm
I think it's interesting that people think Chai is being an alarmist; maybe they think I am too. I totally "get" what she's talking about. I can't speak for her but I do think we ignore our own alarms at our own peril.

I certainly don't walk around in fear. Most days our front door is standing wide open and most nights our back doors are unlocked. I don't get creeped out by people easily.

Maybe it's because I'm not naturally afraid that when someone makes me afraid I pay attention. Close attention. Even, and maybe especially when, there doesn't seem to be a reason for my being afraid. If my gut tells me something is amiss I'd rather break any contact right away and appear rude than to talk myself out of being afraid.

If I found myself and Mo in a situation where a stranger on a crowded bus threw money is his lap it would make me feel uncomfortable. Even in such a public setting it would feel like an invasion of my space, my privacy and more importantly, Mo's space, his privacy. It would put me in a position of having to explain what I thought was wrong with the interaction and it would probably piss Mo off that I wouldn't want him to keep the money.

Maybe that invasion is the "harm".
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Fri 27 Jul, 2007 04:15 pm
Again, in this instance, there's insufficient information to judge whether anyone should have been alarmed or creeped out. The guy was polite, however, saying Excuse Me to people between he and the boy.

Who knows what really went on?
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 10:36 am
NickFun wrote:
The kid should have just taken the money
and bought something pretty.

Chances r, that he probably accepted your philosophy in the matter, Nick.
David


P.S.:
I wud have too.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 11:38 am
Chai wrote:
dadpad wrote:
I would be very very concerned If a stranger gave my child money.

This is not usually socially accepted behavior.

I would be thinking the person has an ulterior motive of some kind.




Chai wrote:
Quote:
I feel the same way.

A while back, there was a thread going on that spoke of a kindly elderly woman who walked up to a table
where there was a child WITH his parents.
She gave the child a small amount of money, without consulting
with the parents, and left the restaurant.

I felt this was setting a very bad precident.

In no way should a child directly be given money by a stranger....ever.

Some posters had used the argument that "it was just a kindly old woman"....really?

Or that if one of the parents had followed her and discussed why they didn't appreciate what she had done,
her feelings might have been hurt. Well, God forbide they insult a
complete stanger over the protection of our child. Confused

Thanx for posting, Chai.

U have presented some interesting and well thought out points.
However, in the case of your scenario, of a child dining with his parents
when he is unexpectedly begifted by a strange, elderly woman,
there also arises the independent will of the donee.

Hence, if a parent attempted to defeat the gift,
the newly enriched kid cud have reacted in a variety of different ways
( depending on the kid 's nature )
including his actively preserving and defending the donation by stashing it out of reach, in his pocket.
Thinking back to my own childhood, I know that I 'd have done that, tho my parents were quiet folk,
who 'd not have interfered. I can envision my mother advising me to :" say thank u, David. "



Quote:
How much easier, if we let children accept money from kindly old women,
would it be for them to accept money from someone else with less noble intents.

It is GOOD to think defensively.
I have always tried to do that.




Quote:

The arguement came up that they would discuss with the child and teach him the difference....yes,
children always pay attention to lessons, don't they?

Well, its newsworthy, or discussion worthy;
don 't u think ?




Quote:
Even in the case of family friends and relatives,
where they wish to give the child some birthday money, christmas money, etc.
I feel the parents should be made aware beforehand by the gift giver how much
and when the child will be receiving the money.

I am reminded of my own childhood, in Phoenix, Arizona, many decades ago.
I was invited to a birthday party of my very good friend, whose name also was David.
He was 10 and I was a year older.
I gave him a wallet full of cash. He showed delight when I showed him
the pocket ( he called it the "secret pocket " ) filled with larger bills.
I saw the emotion on his parents' faces, who were very happy and expressively thankful.
He got other gifts from other guests at his birthday party.
It had not occurred to me that the cash might be deemed offensive.



Quote:
I don't have enough detail on Davids story to give an opinion.
How old was the child?

His age looked in the single digits.

Quote:
Was the person next to him his mother or other known person who was caring for the child.

This is unknown; cud be either way.

David
0 Replies
 
Doowop
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 11:51 am
My way of looking at it is that the lad could one day be on the bus, or on the street on his own. He recognises the man walking towards him as the friendly person who gave him some money.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 12:02 pm
dadpad wrote:
OmSigDAVID wrote:
What shud the boy have DONE ?


Quote:
If the child is in the company of an adult give the money to the adult.

Interesting, Dadpad. Thank u.
May we know your reasoning
as to how the child wud be better off, once he got rid of the cash ?

If he were in the company of a group of kids his age,
shud he give the cash to one of the other kids ?




Quote:
If not in company of an adult I would not be concerned if the child phoned 911/
emergency assistance if only for guidance.

Are the police, fire and ambulance dispatchers trained
in how to react about unexpected cash ?






Quote:
people tend to be creatures of habit and the stranger may wait for the child
at the same time or place and attempt to interact.

From my decades of observation of the vast mulitutdes of New Yorkers
on their way home at rush hour on subways n busses,
I believe that there 'd be very little chance of another encounter.


David
0 Replies
 
Doowop
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 12:08 pm
"From my decades of observation of the vast mulitutdes of New Yorkers
on their way home at rush hour on subways n busses,
I believe that there 'd be very little chance of another encounter."

Unless he knows the lad's routine, of course. Never underestimate a nutter.
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 12:10 pm
Doowop wrote:
My way of looking at it is that the lad could one day be on the bus, or on the street on his own.
He recognises the man walking towards him as the friendly person who gave him some money.

All that was seen was a disembodied hand poking from between closely crowded
strap hangers, dropping a $5 bill, and vanishing in a split second.
The donee was looking down at the newly arrived cash.
David
0 Replies
 
OmSigDAVID
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 12:24 pm
Chai wrote:




Chai wrote:
Quote:
We're on the same page dadpad.

I remember watching some childrens show awhile back. It was a combination of live actors and animation....kind of like a Sesame Street thing, maybe it even was Sesame Street, don't remember.

The lesson taught in a little animated segment was the importance of NOT keeping quiet when confronted with a bad, or potentially bad situation.

The cartoon segment was something about a man talking to or trying to walk with a little girl. The little girl loudly screamed out in front of him and all the other people around "YOU'RE NOT MY DADDY!! I DON'T KNOW YOU!!!!" The stranger ran away while everyone stared at him.

Molesters rely on quiet, and secrets, and people/children being "nice" and "not wanting to make a scene"

Bullshit.

Children AND adults need to say LOUD and CLEAR to a stranger making them uncomfortable "I DON'T KNOW YOU!!!"

The kid looked like the proverbial deer in the headlights, for a moment.
By the time that he raised his eyes from the cash on his lap,
the donor passenger had continued on his way and was walking
across the street, in front of the bus.
David
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 12:27 pm
Excellent point doowop.

mmm hmmm....setting a trap.


the kid might think..."well, he gave me $$ in front of my mom..and she didn't object, it must be ok to talk to him"




it was said before following your gut is wrong, because you will be acting on your prejudices, either consciously, or unconsciously I suppose, or through misinterpretation.

I can't speak for anyone but myself, but if this situation happened, I would make a conscious effort to NOT let my personal prejudices get in the way....meaning, no matter WHO this person was who gave $$ to a child, my alarms would go up....anyone. I suppose you could say I would administer equal opportunity suspestion

As far as misinterpretation...I really don't care if I misinterpret someone elses intentions if I feel my or someone's safety is in question.....

I'd rather misinterpret the motives on someone who meant good, rather than misinterpret the motives of someone who meant harm.

Again, it seems to come down to not wanting to offend, or rock the boat.

I'm thinking about how several have said it's "probably" no big deal, it would be "odd" not to...that you might be reacting to your prejudgices or misinterpretaions.

My reaction, if these types of responses were being offered to me when rebuffing an advance that put my alarms up would be to think..."This is the equivilent of the other person saying....I was just TRYING to be nice, God, you must be a B and paranoid."

It's just others trying to modify your behavior to get you to respond the way they want you to.

A comment about life in general, not just potential molestation scenerios....

I wonder how often people get, tricked, ripped off, cheated, molested, etc because of phrases like "I'm just trying to help you....I'm being honest here.....This is an opportunity you're missing....Come on, just 1 little (fill in the blank) won't hurt.....No one ELSE has a problem with this...etc"

Oh....but there's the missed opportunity to live a full life...you don't know what you're missing....you're over-reacting....Again, telling a person they shouldn't trust their own wisdom......you're gut is wrong....you're wrong.
0 Replies
 
Montana
 
  1  
Reply Sat 28 Jul, 2007 12:27 pm
After reading through, I'm with ebrown on this. I honestly don't think it was that big a deal.
0 Replies
 
 

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