Approaching a child in a public place is something that happens regularly, for both good and bad reasons. There are times when it’s ok (such as when they appear lost or need assistance) and times when it’s not, but what about those less obvious situations? I’m not talking about those clear cut situations when it really isn’t or really is ok as most of us can spot those but what about the random ones? Those moments when someone tells your child off for you, or asks them questions.
Personally if my child was being particularly bad and someone commented or told them not to play me up I’d probably appreciate the assistance, if they were not misbehaving in my eyes and someone commented or told them off I might feel the need to ask them to back off. These can be fairly personal choices.
The question came to mind recently after I got a call from my daughter who was at the local supermarket and she had been approached by a complete stranger to ask where her mum was. Just to clarify my kids are not little kids, they’re teens and are taller than many of the adults I know. When my daughter responded with “at home” the person asked her why she was there by herself, I didn’t ask my daughter what she responded with but knowing her it will have been something obvious like “Um…shopping”. The question I’m asking is, am I wrong in thinking this interaction isn’t appropriate? I don’t know who the person was and it’s possible that it was someone who did know me, but even so, is it ok to demand answers from a teenager about why they’re out on their own, in the middle of a non-school day? I don’t even message friend’s kids, I message the parents and ask them to ask their child, it’s not my child, so it’s not my place.
This isn’t the first time this question has come up, if you encountered a stranger talking to your child, asking questions, how would you react? What about if an adult friend was messaging them? However innocently? Let me know your opinions.