Girl Missing from State Park! Mustached Man Seen! Massive Search Party! And a Stranger Danger Lesson

Christina Robert, PhD, LAMFT:

What do you think? Stranger Danger: Yay or Nay?

Originally posted on FreeRangeKids:

Folks — Here’s a story that manages to encapsulate exactly why “stranger danger” is such a stupid — no, HARMFUL —  concept to preach. On Saturday afternoon, a little girl named Jackie was reported missing in a state park in Rhode Island.  As The Westerly Sun reported:

At 3:50 p.m., Charlestown police received a report of a child missing at the 3,100-acre campground. The child, a 7-year-old girl from Connecticut named Jackie with shoulder-length blonde hair, had been last seen wearing a tie-dyed bathing suit and pink Croc clogs, riding her bicycle. The bike was found on the park’s yellow-dot trail near the 700 section of the 730-site campground, but not Jackie.

Initially, a report of a suspicious vehicle spotted earlier in the day at the Charlestown Breachway — a 1996 green Subaru station wagon with a bike rack, with Vermont license plates, driven by a man with dark…

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3 comments

  1. Nay. In the 50′s it was communists we were taught to fear. Now it’s anyone we don’t know. Makes us paranoid, racist, and disconnected.

  2. I think the threats of harm to our children are real, unfortunately. Lately people think nothing of stealing anything that isn’t nailed down. I see no reason they wouldn’t steal a 4 year old if they found one alone, and thought they could find a buyer. Worse yet, children are most often abused and molested by family members, not strangers.

  3. So I think that is part of the point. Most often danger is not inflicted by strangers. Teaching children to be wary of strangers in general isn’t necessarily the solution. Perhaps teaching them to be in touch with their intuition or their sense of odd behavior is the better solution. If a child is lost in the woods and they are not responding to a voice simply because it is male then the net of what we are teaching them has probably been too widely cast. If a child is lost in the woods, it’s logical and smart to respond to someone calling for them.

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