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Let me start off by saying that I am not a parent. I happen to be the aunt of one adorable niece and soon to be nephew though, so this could easily happen when they are on my watch.

Joey Salads is an entertainer who normally shoots pranks and funny videos. He decided to do a social experiment and seeing as how at least 5 people from different parts of my life shared this video on Facebook today and commented on how scary it was I watched it too, this clearly has prompted me to write this post.

Again let me say that I am NOT a parent but this video brought up a few things for me about society as a whole and not just parenting.

First of all I totally understand the “don’t talk to strangers” lecture. The thing that I wonder about is how do you say it so that it doesn’t instil this fear about every single person the child ever encounters? Because yes there are some scary things that happen because of some people but there are also incredibly wonderful people who are genuinely nice and caring. I know that I have a sense of someone when I meet them, they either give me an “all good” or a “stay away” vibe, but I’m now 29 years old and have interacted with many people in my life and have had the time and experience to be able to make those distinctions. I like to think that everyone has that filter from a young age and it just develops more but I doubt that’s actually true.

Obviously I wouldn’t want my niece walking off with some random guy because he was nice and had a puppy but I also wouldn’t want her to come crying to me just because some guy with a puppy said hi to her at the park. How does the conversation with your kid go? I think the mom at the end of the video did a pretty solid job of explaining, ‘you cannot just walk away with someone you don’t know just because he says he has more puppies for you to see, you need to come and ask me before you go anywhere’.

My next question is, whatever happened to the saying that it takes a village to raise a child? As a bystander to what happened in this video I don’t know that I would actually have the sense to go up to the kid and ask if he/she actually knows the man that they are about to walk away with. With that being said what happens if the kid, who doesn’t know the guy, somehow feels more comfortable with him because he has this cute puppy than with me- the person who is trying to look out for their wellbeing?! What the heck then?

I guess until I am a parent myself I will never really be able to answer any of these random ponderings.

So to all the parents out there… how do you go about giving your child the independence and confidence to make their own decisions but still stay safe without you hovering and smothering them?!

Also I just have to say that I admire all you parents out there doing the best you can with what you’ve got. Childhood has certainly changed since I was growing up! I really wouldn’t even know how to deal with growing up now!!! Power to you parents!