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Old 12-28-2013, 01:51 PM
 
30 posts, read 63,507 times
Reputation: 78

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These days, everyone in a public place (especially guys on their own) are child predators, apparently. That's how all of the overprotective parents view it.

I hear crazy helicopter moms (often of the kids I work with) all the time talking about "some creepy guy" at a gas station that tried to say hi to their kid or smiled at them, or asked them how they were doing. Surely they are child rapists because they smiled at a cute little kid.

I've seen too many crazy parents that think anyone trying to be polite or friendly to their kids is a predator. So now I don't even say anything to kids or acknowledge their existence in public in any way. Sometimes the people I am with will say something like, "You are so good with kids, I'm surprised you didn't help those kids at the park when we were walking through." And I have to explain to them why.

Anyone have any experiences with this from either side, either as a parent of a child or as someone who has been stereotyped in public for interacting with a kid?
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,025 posts, read 17,342,168 times
Reputation: 41321
I love children and am a retired teacher. I used to "get involved" when I saw dangerous situations or bullying in public places such as at the mall. It used to be that a warm but firm "Stop running" or "Keep away from that railing, you could fall" or "Stop that" would stop kids and often the parent (if they even noticed) would thank me.

About 15 to 20 years ago I noticed a change. Even if I grabbed their two year old and kept them from falling down between the railings to a tile floor three stores below (possible to their death) the parent yelled at me for touching their child (true story) or I yelled at a couple of tweens to stop beating up a much smaller child all I got was one of them turning and saying "Lady, Go away or we will beat you up next!" (true story). Kids running in the mall and knocking down, or almost knocking down others, would start to yell at me "It is none of your F******* business if we are running" (sadly another true story). And, this was in nice upper middle class suburban malls.

Now, I don't EVER intervene or say a word or get involved unless it is truly a life or death situation. Pretty sad, isn't it? Especially now that so many people are conceal carrying guns, I can't risk my life over someone misunderstanding my intentions. Sometimes, I will go to a salesclerk and have them call mall security, but basically I just stopped going to malls at all. Although, I may visit one store at a mall once or twice a year, I actual stopped "shopping at malls" about 8 or 10 years ago.

And, I am a middle age lady, who looks like a nice teacher or sweet grandma type. If I was a man, especially a young man, I would never even look in the direction of a child that wasn't my child.

Last edited by germaine2626; 12-28-2013 at 02:56 PM..
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Finland
6,321 posts, read 5,586,295 times
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I think its very sad that people are scared to smile at or talk to or help children because of fear of what the parents might think or say. I always appreciate it when someone smiles at or talks to my daughter and I don't think that fear is quite so common where I live, thankfully, because strangers do often smile or try and talk to her.

I always help a kid if I see they need help (like need help getting down off playground equipment) and if they talk to me then I'll chat back but if I was a man I think I'd have to think twice about that, sadly.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:58 PM
 
30 posts, read 63,507 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post

And, I am a middle age lady, who looks like a nice teacher or sweet grandma type. If I was a man, especially a young man, I would never even look in the direction of a child that wasn't my child.

Exactly. I'm a random, straight, Christian white guy, so I don't really get wrongfully stereotyped that often. But one thing that really irks me is people who are automatically distrusting of single males around kids. I've seen it all too often working with kids for seven years now.

It's a shame, but I've gotten used to never saying anything to or reacting to kids in public in any way, for fear of crazy parents accusing me of being a sexual predator.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:18 PM
 
Location: here
24,839 posts, read 30,080,338 times
Reputation: 32401
Quote:
Originally Posted by WB55 View Post
Exactly. I'm a random, straight, Christian white guy, so I don't really get wrongfully stereotyped that often. But one thing that really irks me is people who are automatically distrusting of single males around kids. I've seen it all too often working with kids for seven years now.

It's a shame, but I've gotten used to never saying anything to or reacting to kids in public in any way, for fear of crazy parents accusing me of being a sexual predator.
Can a child predator not be these things?
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Old 12-28-2013, 06:22 PM
 
32,532 posts, read 30,651,383 times
Reputation: 32347
Quote:
Originally Posted by WB55 View Post
These days, everyone in a public place (especially guys on their own) are child predators, apparently. That's how all of the overprotective parents view it.

I hear crazy helicopter moms (often of the kids I work with) all the time talking about "some creepy guy" at a gas station that tried to say hi to their kid or smiled at them, or asked them how they were doing. Surely they are child rapists because they smiled at a cute little kid.

I've seen too many crazy parents that think anyone trying to be polite or friendly to their kids is a predator. So now I don't even say anything to kids or acknowledge their existence in public in any way. Sometimes the people I am with will say something like, "You are so good with kids, I'm surprised you didn't help those kids at the park when we were walking through." And I have to explain to them why.

Anyone have any experiences with this from either side, either as a parent of a child or as someone who has been stereotyped in public for interacting with a kid?
Yes. If I meet a 20-something male who has no respect for my decisions as a parent his job no longer involves my child. My kid is out of his camp, classroom or wherever the heck he is that my child is. Especially if I find out that he thinks being white, straight and Christian eliminates men from being child molesters. (You wearing a sign around your neck to let people know you're straight and Christian?) He just let me know he's a 20-something who has some incredibly biased ideas about people who aren't white, straight and Christians. I'm VERY overprotective when it comes to having that person around kids.

Last edited by DewDropInn; 12-28-2013 at 06:36 PM..
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:41 PM
 
30 posts, read 63,507 times
Reputation: 78
Jesus H. Christ people.

Why do I even bother posting on these forums - I always sense a serious lack of comprehension.

Read the post again carefully, and I will walk along with you carefully through it to help you understand.

"I'm a random, straight, Christian white guy, so I don't really get wrongfully stereotyped that often. But one thing that really irks me is people who are automatically distrusting of single males around kids. I've seen it all too often working with kids for seven years now."

I am a random, straight Christian white guy.

Random people are the majority.
Straight people are the majority.
Christian people are the majority in the U.S.
White people are the majority in the U.S.
Men are less negatively stereotyped than women in the U.S.

Specific people are the minority.
Gay people are the minority.
Muslims are the minority in the U.S.
Other ethnicities other than white people are the minority in the U.S.

I'm a random, straight, Christian white guy, so I don't really fit into any of the minority groups that so often get wrongfully stereotyped in the U.S. Not wrongfully stereotyped as child molesters, just wrongfully stereotyped in general.

Therefore, because I don't get wrongfully stereotyped in my day to day lives because I am usually in the majority, it makes it more jarring for me personally when I get stereotyped as a child molester because I am young, single and male.

Is this making sense yet? I'm not saying child molesters are black, gay, women, muslim or anything else. Not even close. I'm not saying white Christian straight people aren't capable of child molestation.

I'm saying that I am in the majority group in almost all of my demographics, and therefore I don't get negatively and wrongfully stereotyped that often. And that's why it's a bit more jarring for me when I experience the negative feeling of getting wrongfully stereotyped when I am in a public place with kids around.

Am I explaining my post clearly? Please let me know if you are still not understanding it and I will continue trying to break it down.
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:47 PM
 
Location: here
24,839 posts, read 30,080,338 times
Reputation: 32401
Quote:
Originally Posted by WB55 View Post
Jesus H. Christ people.

Why do I even bother posting on these forums - I always sense a serious lack of comprehension.

Read the post again carefully, and I will walk along with you carefully through it to help you understand.

"I'm a random, straight, Christian white guy, so I don't really get wrongfully stereotyped that often. But one thing that really irks me is people who are automatically distrusting of single males around kids. I've seen it all too often working with kids for seven years now."

I am a random, straight Christian white guy.

Random people are the majority.
Straight people are the majority.
Christian people are the majority in the U.S.
White people are the majority in the U.S.
Men are less negatively stereotyped than women in the U.S.

Specific people are the minority.
Gay people are the minority.
Muslims are the minority in the U.S.
Other ethnicities other than white people are the minority in the U.S.

I'm a random, straight, Christian white guy, so I don't really fit into any of the minority groups that so often get wrongfully stereotyped in the U.S. Not wrongfully stereotyped as child molesters, just wrongfully stereotyped in general.

Therefore, because I don't get wrongfully stereotyped in my day to day lives because I am usually in the majority, it makes it more jarring for me personally when I get stereotyped as a child molester because I am young, single and male.

Is this making sense yet? I'm not saying child molesters are black, gay, women, muslim or anything else. Not even close. I'm not saying white Christian straight people aren't capable of child molestation.

I'm saying that I am in the majority group in almost all of my demographics, and therefore I don't get negatively and wrongfully stereotyped that often. And that's why it's a bit more jarring for me when I experience the negative feeling of getting wrongfully stereotyped when I am in a public place with kids around.

Am I explaining my post clearly? Please let me know if you are still not understanding it and I will continue trying to break it down.
I understood your post just fine. The thing is, being white, Christian, and straight have nothing to do with being or not being a child molester, not to mention 2 of those 3 aren't obvious to people who don't know you. You seem to think parents should give you a pass or automatically trust you and your judgement because you aren't a minority. Really?
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Old 12-28-2013, 07:58 PM
 
9,912 posts, read 9,301,860 times
Reputation: 8048
I got my feelings hurt several years ago at a high school football game. We were sitting on the 40 yard line about mid-way up in the bleachers at the end next to the concrete aisle/steps. A group of young parents was sitting further up behind us. Several of the couples had young children with them. A little fellow maybe 2 or 3 years old took a tumble down the concrete steps. I caught the child and all heck broke loose. The mother started screaming at the top of her lungs "do not touch my child, don't touch my child." "STOP!!" She came down yanked the little boy up, looked at me and said "I don't allow strangers to touch my children!"

I didn't say one word, people were staring to see what happened and there I sat looking like I was trying to snatch her little boy! I guess I should have let him fall all the way to the bottom.
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Old 12-28-2013, 08:12 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,025 posts, read 17,342,168 times
Reputation: 41321
Quote:
Originally Posted by WB55 View Post
These days, everyone in a public place (especially guys on their own) are child predators, apparently. That's how all of the overprotective parents view it.

I hear crazy helicopter moms (often of the kids I work with) all the time talking about "some creepy guy" at a gas station that tried to say hi to their kid or smiled at them, or asked them how they were doing. Surely they are child rapists because they smiled at a cute little kid.

I've seen too many crazy parents that think anyone trying to be polite or friendly to their kids is a predator. So now I don't even say anything to kids or acknowledge their existence in public in any way. Sometimes the people I am with will say something like, "You are so good with kids, I'm surprised you didn't help those kids at the park when we were walking through." And I have to explain to them why.

Anyone have any experiences with this from either side, either as a parent of a child or as someone who has been stereotyped in public for interacting with a kid?
Quote:
Originally Posted by germaine2626 View Post
I love children and am a retired teacher. I used to "get involved" when I saw dangerous situations or bullying in public places such as at the mall. It used to be that a warm but firm "Stop running" or "Keep away from that railing, you could fall" or "Stop that" would stop kids and often the parent (if they even noticed) would thank me.

About 15 to 20 years ago I noticed a change. Even if I grabbed their two year old and kept them from falling down between the railings to a tile floor three stores below (possible to their death) the parent yelled at me for touching their child (true story) or I yelled at a couple of tweens to stop beating up a much smaller child all I got was one of them turning and saying "Lady, Go away or we will beat you up next!" (true story). Kids running in the mall and knocking down, or almost knocking down others, would start to yell at me "It is none of your F******* business if we are running" (sadly another true story). And, this was in nice upper middle class suburban malls.

Now, I don't EVER intervene or say a word or get involved unless it is truly a life or death situation. Pretty sad, isn't it? Especially now that so many people are conceal carrying guns, I can't risk my life over someone misunderstanding my intentions. Sometimes, I will go to a salesclerk and have them call mall security, but basically I just stopped going to malls at all. Although, I may visit one store at a mall once or twice a year, I actual stopped "shopping at malls" about 8 or 10 years ago.

And, I am a middle age lady, who looks like a nice teacher or sweet grandma type. If I was a man, especially a young man, I would never even look in the direction of a child that wasn't my child.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CarolinaWoman View Post
I got my feelings hurt several years ago at a high school football game. We were sitting on the 40 yard line about mid-way up in the bleachers at the end next to the concrete aisle/steps. A group of young parents was sitting further up behind us. Several of the couples had young children with them. A little fellow maybe 2 or 3 years old took a tumble down the concrete steps. I caught the child and all heck broke loose. The mother started screaming at the top of her lungs "do not touch my child, don't touch my child." "STOP!!" She came down yanked the little boy up, looked at me and said "I don't allow strangers to touch my children!"

I didn't say one word, people were staring to see what happened and there I sat looking like I was trying to snatch her little boy! I guess I should have let him fall all the way to the bottom.
Back off, folks, who are suggesting that WE can (and probably are) pedophiles !

The OP and others aren't saying that "people who look like us" can't be "up to no good" but that many/some parents over-react so strongly that good, honest, loving adults are afraid to even smile or look at someone else's child in a public setting.

Heck, I possibly/probably saved a child's life when I grabbed them before they fell three stories but did the parents thank me? No, they yelled at me and threatened to call the police. Luckily, other people who had seen what happened told the parents that I was just trying to save the toddler from falling.

And then there was the time I grabbed a different toddler's coat just before he ran in front of a speeding car in a parking lot.-----you guessed it the parents yelled at me.

Child stuck on the tallest monkey bars?
Child lost in a department store?
Child grabbing & eating food in a grocery store?
Child falling down the stairs?
None of my business.

However, a little child running loose in the road or a busy parking lot could be a life or death situation and I would try to prevent them from being hurt or killed.
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