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Mom Reveals Why She Refuses To Teach Her Daughters About 'Stranger Danger'

Photo: Altrendo Images / Shutterstock / TikTok
Marcie Whalen TikTok, stranger giving boy candy

A mom on TikTok who dedicates her page to sharing her "unconventional" parenting techniques has shared her unique approach to teaching her daughter's safety skills.

Marcie Whalen doesn't believe in teaching her kids to avoid strangers. In fact, she is turning the entire concept of "Stranger Danger" on its head.

Typically the "Stranger Danger" talk would involve teaching kids to avoid talking to people they don't know and making them aware of the inherent dangers they may face as they venture into the world.

Whalen, however, disagrees with the concept and is sparking a new conversation — one that breaks traditional parenting standards and equips children with new tools.

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Whalen ditches the ‘Stranger Danger’ talk and opts for a different approach.

While she understands the good intentions of "Stranger Danger" and parents just “trying to protect their kids and keep them safe,” she believes the concept to be outdated and misunderstood.

Annual National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) data would agree with Whalen’s assumptions, as it revealed that almost 93% of child abuse reported to law enforcement is perpetrated by someone “known to the victim.”

   

   

“Most people are good people, and we want our girls to be outgoing…in general, to be hospitable to those around them,” Whalen elaborates.

So, Whalen is right on the mark — but, what is she supplementing for a more thorough warning?

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Whalen prioritizes teaching her kids about ‘Strange Behavior’ rather than ‘Stranger Danger.’

“I want my kids to understand what strange behavior is,” the mom shares with her viewers.

“Asking them to keep a secret,” she explains, "this is just between you and me, don’t tell your parents — strange behavior.”

“Asking them to go somewhere without their mom and dad — strange behavior,” she continues.

Ditching ‘Stranger Danger’ allows her children to always feel comfortable asking for help — even from family members or friends

Providing these examples, she ultimately concludes that she tries to instill these “red flags” in her kids to keep them both safe from "bad" strangers and "bad" situations.

Data from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) shows in the context of family life, children who don’t have comfort and support could face a surplus of reactions to domestic violence and abuse.

Reactions include the development of sleep or eating disorders, intense anxiety, increased aggression, and withdrawal.

Her unique and progressive parenting style helps to assure confidence and comfort for children in their parents, to protect their children now and in the future.

“Anyone can have strange behavior, whether we know them or not,” she says, which is why it’s critical that, “when that starts to happen, they are to immediately come to us.”

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a news and entertainment writer at YourTango. They cover topics ranging from pop culture analysis to human interest stories. They are currently based in East Lansing, MI. Catch up with them on their Instagram or TikTok.

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