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Momo Fali's: Stranger Danger

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Stranger Danger

We have recently started having conversations with our five year old son about strangers. We waited so long to start these conversations because he's had numerous health problems and for a really long time, he didn't want anyone to touch him. Not Mom, not Dad, not sister, nor grandparent. It is my belief that he thought if anyone was going to touch him, it would result in a needle being stuck into his body, or his liver being manipulated and moved about by some doctor's large, cold, rubbing-alcohol scented hands. After 18 months of occupational therapy to help him with these issues, we now have a kid who is the extreme opposite of the one we used to know. Now we can't stop him from rubbing people, or going up to random folks at the ballpark and telling them, "Hold me".

My friend, Bean, let us borrow a great DVD called Stranger Safety. The host, who calls herself Safe Side Super Chick, is a combination of Robin Williams, in his Mork days, with a little bit of Pippi Longstocking. Though incredibly odd in so many ways, it was informative and fun for all of us to watch. But, since then my son is obsessed with knowing who is a stranger and who isn't. He points at everyone we see and says, "He's a stranger"..."She's a stranger". The cashier at Target, the mailman, the trash guys, pictures of people in all his books, dogs, cats...turns out, just about everyone is a stranger. And, after all these discussions about who it's okay to talk to, and when, we found it had all paid off in a very backward sort of way. Because as I picked up my son at the grocery store the other day, he started yelling, "NO!! Help! You're a stranger! You're a stranger!!" Looks like we have more work to do.

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