Want your children protected from strangers? You got it.
There was a story this morning about a three year old boy who had managed to leave his nursery and walked the one and a half miles home by himself, stopping off at a supermarket he knows to see if his mother was there. The mother was called to the nursery and soon afterwards received a call from her neighbour to say the little boy had made it home and was safe. It all ended well, but one of the things reported was that the mother was upset that nobody had approached the boy walking home all that way by himself.
As a middle aged man, would I approach a toddler who is not distressed happily walking along the pavement? Absolutely not. Society has ingrained in us all now that all strangers are danger, I would likely be accused of be a “peedo” and be sent packing. Would I stop and help a small boy if he was crying? Maybe, but again the image of a middle aged man trying to coax a small crying boy to talk to him is likely make many people jump to the wrong conclusion.
The little boy in the story did actually said that he had been told not to speak to strangers by his mother (a generally good thing) and so any efforts to help may well have been spurned.
I find this a very sad state for society to be in; there are child abductions of course and we should all be aware of that but I feel that maybe children are less well protected than they were — society reaps what it has sown.