Why I let my Son talk to Strangers…

Today we crossed paths with a diversity of different people. Two women enjoying a stroll & conversation, a young lady walking her dog, an old man appreciating the view, some kids on the playground… Just to name a few.

As we were about to cross paths with the two women, they were stopped in their tracks by my toddler who was searching for “treasure” on the ground rather than watching where he was walking. Thankfully they patiently did the guess-hustle before resorting to parting ways so he could continue on his way & when he turned to acknowledge them, they politely said, “hello!”, as did he.

As we were walking away I began to think about that exchange along with the many others we had already had during our short time at the beach… I told my friend that I’d been talking to my toddler about how he shouldn’t talk to strangers when he isn’t with mumma or daddy but that I don’t want him to stop talking to strangers when he is with us. My friend with an almost surprising tone said something like, “yeah you just walked right up to that man to start a conversation!”

Why I Let my Son Talk to Strangers - Trust your Gut & Intuition rather than Live in Fear


I smiled as I thought to myself about how we continuously attract such sweet & kind people just about everywhere we go & thanks to the innocence of a 2 year old, I’m finding him & myself lost in conversation with these lovely people whom we’ve never met before…

We very well could have been the only interaction the old man on the log had all day. What a shame it would’ve been if we hadn’t taken the time to say hello? See, I was raised to not live in fear. There was no waiting in the car with the other parent while my mom ran into a gas station to ask for directions or someone waiting at home for us when she hadn’t gotten off work yet. There wasn’t another bread winner to foot the bill for the hotel reservations gone wrong which ended in us sleeping in our car somewhere around 93rd St. in NYC (not that it was really about the money because no one should pay that much for one night in a room). So maybe it had something to do with her “I can do it all” single mom, badass attitude? Either way, thanks for teaching to me to trust wholly in my gut Ma & for believing me when I spoke up!

My point is, my mum trusted her gut & as far as I could see, it didn’t steer her wrong. I distinctly remember her taking a research trip to Cuba when I was in 5th grade & her telling me she was “no more afraid to walk down the streets of Havana at night than she was at home.” She encouraged me to share a meal with a homeless man on a city bench as a child & even gave me the guts to ask for help when I found myself broken down on a 1500 mile road trip home at 18, when all I really wanted to do was cry…
This is exactly the kind of mindset I want to teach my son – Trust your gut & intuition rather than to live in fear…
The world is a better place when strangers say hello. Let’s not rid our children of that gift. The gift of surprise & friendship. Of kindness & gratitude for having made someone’s day. A simple “hello” or exchange of smiles. Patting a friendly dog or just chit-chatting to pass the time. Sharing a bench with a breath taking view or a meal with someone running on an empty stomach.
Think not, that the people of the world are out to steer you wrong but instead give them a reason to smile back. The next time your auto-reaction wants to pull your child back under your wing & shush them for waving or saying “hi” to the man with a 5 O’clock shadow behind you, think twice. Dig deep down into the gut of your heart – Do YOU have a reason to feel afraid or unsafe? Should YOU be making your children feel that way? Just consider how harmless a little friendly conversation between some happy humans can be… How you’re doing your part to raise little people that will, ARE already making this world a better place with their innocent smiles, waves & “have a great days!”
We were all just humans until classification, disconnection & divide. If our children don’t bridge the gaps, who will?

As Ruthie Lindsey would say, “If you see something beautiful in someone, speak it.”


20 thoughts on “Why I let my Son talk to Strangers…

  1. I think there is definitely a bit of over protection these days with this, which is a loss to a child who isn’t learning how to interact with new people. I once read an article about teaching kids the difference between strangers and “tricky people” – people who want to trick you and have ill intentions – and I think that’s how we’ll proceed when the time comes!

    • That is a great example! There is a very big difference & giving our children the tools to decide which leaves them feeling yucky inside is soooo important for all of us! Thanks for sharing!

  2. I completely agree Vivianna! There has to be a balance. We live in such a fear inflicted world now that it seems like anything is dangerous or unsafe. I hate it! I want my kids to be able to play under their neighborhood street lights in the summer time and not being looked down upon for it! Great read!

    • Yes! Exactly. Lets bring back the village! Well in part, we have to appreciate that it is still here… if we are willing & open to find it. Thanks for reading Tessa <3

    • I’m so glad we could challenge each other’s perspective today. If I wasn’t constantly challenged to open my mind, I wouldn’t think this way. Thank you for being open to my ideas! xoxo

  3. I really love this! My son is such a social kid that he “works the room” whenever we go somewhere. He loves when people talk to him when we go out and I would hate to see that disappear. Great post.

  4. I was raised I’m a world of stranger danger and fear. And I don’t want that for my child. It wasn’t until I was an adult and moved away to big cities that I learned that the bad people of the world only make up a small fraction of the world. And most you encounter are good people. Great post!

  5. Love this! We´re living in a world full of fear, and i think fear shouldn´t stop us from all the cool stuff out there. About getting into conversations with strangers, I totally have that as well since I have my son… Suddenly on the street, in the supermarket,in the plane… Think i havent talked as much myself to strangers until now :)!

  6. Thank you for this! I also encourage my girls to interact at their comfort level when we’re all together. Real communication is quickly becoming a lost art, and I don’t want my girls to not have that human connection. I also don’t want them to live in fear of others all the time like I did at their age.

  7. I am a massive introvert (could not order my own meal at taco bell bad) I am raising my toddler to give high fives, and say hello when or before spoken too. It is not something I want him to struggle with. He is being taught to stay close to us but be friendly and polite. We are very protective but kindness goes such a long way

    • The innocence of our children bring out the best in us. I love that even you are stepping out of your comfort zone to give your son something you didn’t have… Thanks for sharing! <3

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