Dear Random Stranger,

Back away from my child! Right now! I’m not sure why you think it’s appropriate to touch him. I am also not sure why you think it’s not appropriate for him to tell you “no”. He’s a person and he doesn’t know you. Why would he let a stranger touch him? Do you let strangers touch you? I don’t care that he didn’t speak to you. That doesn’t make him rude or spoiled. Again, he doesn’t know you. To him, you are just some new face who happens to be more than two feet taller than him. Can you imagine how scary you must look from where he stands? You might even seem a bit creepy.

As his parents, we are teaching him that he has a voice, an opinion and we respect it. We are teaching him that he deserves respect. He deserves it, not only from us but, from those around him. There is no way we want to teach him that he should be super-friendly to any old adult that comes his way. I don’t care that we’re at church. Crazy people go to church too. You might be the sweetest lady we’ve ever laid eyes on. You might be the nicest gentleman we’ll ever know. But that’s the thing we don’t “know” you. So trust, that my family would appreciate it if you would back up. Way up. Stop trying to pat our son on his head. When he frowned up at you, that meant he didn’t like it. He’s not Fido, he’s a child. He’s a person, albeit a small one, but a person none the less. The sooner you get that, the better off we’ll be.

Thank you kindly for respecting the space of my child,

LJ’s parents

40 comments on “Dear Stranger…”

  1. This reminds me when a “stranger” rubbed my son’s bald head in the store. He was 3 then and went off on her. lol I felt a little bad at first, but then I was like that what you get for touching my son. We don’t know you!!
    We teach our son to speak up when someone touches him in a way he doesn’t like and have no regrets about that.
    Great letter!

  2. Why do adults feel they can invade the personal space of children? This really bothers me. When we’re out with the kids complete strangers will come up pinch cheeks, pat on the heads, grab fingers. This is not okay. I’ve had told my kids it’s acceptable to tell adults “please don’t touch me in this manner because my mother does not play.”

    Hugs and Mocha,
    Stesha recently posted…{Thanksgiving Edition} Loving…My Profile

  3. I hate when people touch my babies hands. Sir/Ma’am I don’t know where your hands have been and the fact that children put their hands in their mouth should be a signal not to do that…I guess not. Once they finish saying their piece I wipe her hands down even if they are still standing there. *shrugs*
    Mimi recently posted…Shabby Apple Dress GiveawayMy Profile

  4. I have never had a stranger come up to me they will smile and say hi but they have never touched my kids. I have that look of don’t mess with me when I go into stores so they don’t. Now I have had strangers give my child candy without asking me. Now that I don’t play with I had one do it and I snatched it from my child and threw it in her buggy and said very meanly ask before you give my child stuff.
    kita recently posted…Talk TuesdayMy Profile

  5. YES!! Why do people think it’s appropriate to touch or approach your child? We have a crazy (seriously crazy) neighbor who always is trying to touch him and she waits for us in the morning and at night.
    Barbara recently posted…Sleep DeprivationMy Profile

  6. Ya, that’s not going down with the Snellings kids. Both with quickly say, Don’t Touch Me Stranger!Then, comes the what the heck is wrong with you look.

  7. I hate this well. I don’t know what is in the mind of some adults, but you don’t go up to a person’s child and touch them. Its rude. People should learn that everyone deserves personal space, and kids are not dogs; don’t go patting kids you don’t know on the head.

    I also wipe my daughter’s hands in front of people, and my daughter moves away from you when you try to reach for her. Kids don’t like strangers much. They are not supposed to.
    KalleyC recently posted…My Thanksgiving MenuMy Profile

  8. Thank you!
    I hate when people think they can “pet” my child.
    I remember when my B was just an infant and we had to go to a pharmacy. Some hacking woman thought it was OK to reach out and touch his little hand as she commented on how cute he was.
    The little hand that he liked to chew on all the time.
    As she reached for him I could see myself in slo-mo mode …
    “Nooooooooooo …”
    I caught her hand just in time. Gave her a gentle squeeze and said “Thank you for the compliment.”
    I think she got the hint.
    Then I hunted down some Purell for myself!

  9. Amen to that one, isn’t it weird how people react if our children don’t want to interact? I don’t want my son to be so friendly that if a stranger comes up to him and takes his hand he goes freely. I take comfort in my childs “no!” Its called stranger danger for a reason. People can be so inappropriate sometimes!
    Nellie recently posted…Gobble Gobble = In-Law DramaMy Profile

  10. This happens so much. I think you took the words right out of so many parent’s mouths. You said what needs to be said every day to strangers. Can you believe I even have that problem when I’m out at the park or on a neighborhood walk with my prreschool class. People want to touch the kids and take pictures. I know it’s NYC and there are a lot of tourist, but why the pictures? Seriously? I have to tell people all of the time, not to take pictures of the kids. There are so many strange people out there, so you have every reason to feel this way. And yes, little ones deserve respect and their space too!!!
    Monica J recently posted…Usher & His Boys! Get Their Kid Style for Your Little ToddlersMy Profile

  11. Girl! This one irks me so bad!!! Strange folks are always trying to touch on Pookah and then look at me funny when I move the cart away, or when Pookah says a loud and firm NO. SMH.

  12. I am *IN LOVE* with this post and all that it says about people and how they interact with the little ones! I have no idea why people seem to think because they are kids, it’s okay to get in their space or discipline them…I’m always stunned when it happens, but I’m glad I’m not the only one!
    Aubrey recently posted…Christmas List: Fine Pillow Covers!My Profile

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