When/how to introduce "Stranger danger"
So at some point the parenting message has to change from "say hi, timmy. Say hi to the nice man." to "don't talk to strangers, don't get into a strangers car." etc. Now that DS is off to preK this fall I am not sure if he is ready, in this way, kwim?
About a year ago we started addressing the issue of "we don't pet strange dogs" and introducing the concept of "strange/r" when we are in the woods on the trails (there is alot of off-leash dog walking here). Recently I have expanded this concept to include people we don't know and labeling them as strangers. This has been easy and innocuous b/c it is mostly in response to his questions about why random people do random things ("I don't know why that man spit on the sidewalk, I don't know him or his name, he is a stranger.") How do I transition to the safety aspect of known/unknown people without scaring him?
[Despite how this appears I am not hung up on the word "Stranger" but struggling how to teach DS what he needs to know to be safe, even when he is still in the tiny and cute phase where random people approach and talk to us all the time and I encourage him to respond to them.]