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I'm Very Upset.

My kid accepted a dollar in the bathroom from some man we don't really know as a prize for beating the man's friend in chess.  (Both men are well over 50.)  Emperor does not seem to understand why accepting money in the bathroom is not OK.  He doesn't see why this is a dangerous situation.  He doesn't understand why I flipped out about it and said it just looks doggone weird.

I don't know that the man was really attempting anything odd; he seems like the type who can't stop talking for an hour even if someone bet him $100... so it's hardly surprising to me that he would strike up a conversation with Emperor in the bathroom.  Or strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere.  He is *probably* harmless enough...

But this incident has freaked me out.  D has instituted a "Mom will go with you and stand outside the door, and you will do what you have to do and get out, no chatting or accepting anything" rule for bathroom breaks that occur outside the house.

Anybody else out there think their child "knew better" than to do something and then, wow... you realize he didn't really know it?  That's what I'm going through tonight.


  1. Oh, that's scary...the moment when you realise your child really doesn't understand what the problem might be with speaking to strangers in public bathrooms. Accepting money is just a tad worse. It's entirely possible the man was genuinely congratulating/rewarding Emperor, but then again things could have turned out so much worse. You're going to have to have the stranger danger conversation sooner rather than later. In the meantime D's new rules are pretty good to be going on with. Even if you just teach Emperor to say no thank you I'm not allowed to accept gifts of any kind.

  2. THAT is unacceptable. On EVERY SINGLE LEVEL. In this day and age, no grown man would think of approaching a kid in a bathroom,let alone handing the kid money. (Ummm...ever hear of grooming a kid? Sexual abusers do that.) I can't say it's Emperor's fault, I mean you'd like to think he would know it's bad....but did you ever say to him 'Hey, when someone tries to hand you money in the loo, get away from 'em?'. I would absolutely be reporting the old man. Friend of others or not...that's shady behaviour when it comes to being in a bathroom with a young kid.

  3. oh my gosh, Mrs. C. I would be FREAKING OUT too.

    I struggle with this... I don't want to go into lurid details about all the bad things adults can do to kids, because I don't want them to go thru life scared all the time... But I don't know how to talk about this stuff without it being really scary. Plus also I would probably cry during the conversation...

    Good grief. I'm sorry. That is scary.

  4. Oh man, the bathroom always scares us with our kids. Since I can't go in with the boys I always, always make them go into pairs. I can do that because usually we are all together wherever we go. Even at church, if a kid has to get up and potty, we make them take a sibling. I don't blame you at all for being worried.

  5. My poor son went to the ladies room in most cases until he was just too tall to qualify as a kid.... I guess that was once he was almost my height. There have been too many incidences of 12 year old kids in my area being flashed in the bathroom or worse.

    When my kids were 5 and 7, when we were new to Georgia, my kids came in and told me that the next door neighbor was no longer strangers. He had taken his little sister over and introduced themselves! ACK!

  6. It is so hard to be a kid, isn't it? We try to teach them safety but also try to teach them to be kind and friendly and polite. It is such a messed up world.

  7. i wish i got a dollar every time i went to the bathroom! ;)


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