Free range kids advocate Lenore Skenazy points out that telling children “don’t talk to strangers” can be dangerous advice. Sometimes kids find themselves in situations where they need help – they get lost, for instance. Skenazy’s advice:
Teach your children they can talk to strangers, they just cannot go off with strangers.
Security expert Bruce Schneier concurs, saying:
In a world where good guys are common and bad guys are rare, assuming a random person is a good guy is a smart security strategy. We need to help children develop their natural intuition about risk, and not give them overbroad rules.
Most “strangers” are good people willing to help. We should teach our children accordingly.