53

From your description, it does not sound like your son has an irrational fear of strangers. He may simply hate being picked up by them, and have learned that this is a plausible outcome of strangers approaching too closely. If this is the case, then it seems to be that its the people who pick him up without consent need to change, not him. There are few ...


53

Of all your suggestions, only one really says “it’s not ok to kick the dinosaurs”. The other are sending a different message, which can be summed up as Don’t do it when [some else with more power] sees it, because there may be undesirable consequences. The logical next step for some clever kids is to do exactly what you don’t want them to do the moment ...


27

Something that hasn't been addressed is why the child is kicking the dinosaur. They are bored with the park or this exhibit ("Hey, don't damage the exhibits. If you're bored let's go and see the XYZ.") They are imagining fighting a dinosaur (Acknowledge the story. Compliment their bravery etc. Engage the imagination by talking about fighting a ...


21

Just to add to what other posters have said, this can be a good time to give a child a lesson in empathy as well. Something like "Well, that dinosaur belongs to someone. Would you like it if someone kicked your <favourite toy, games console, etc>?". They would most likely say no, so then the obvious next question is "Why not?"


18

Quietly and politely, tell the child to please not kick the dino and give the best possible (age-appropriate) reason. Something like "Please don't kick the dino. The dinos in the park are not for kicking. If other kids start kicking them, the dinos will fall apart and then next time we come to the park, there will be nothing to play with." ...


8

Why not simply tell him the true reason? "You shouldn't damage the thing because it isn't yours." Because it is the correct and logical answer, this one is more likely to work than the others and get the kid to learn something useful. Then you could explain using simple examples: "If you have a toy you don't like, maybe you want to break it or ...


8

I guess it is both. All children are scared of strangers - it is natural for their protection. They know a very few people from the birth - mother, father, maybe siblings. They know, that these people take care of him, feed him, love him, play with him. But he doesn't know what to wait from strangers. Even if he meets them from time to time (once a month for ...


7

It's both nature and nurture. Some babies are naturally more wary of strangers. Two of my kids were polar opposites on that scale. Exact same nurturing, very different nature. People whose own children are more similar to each other sometimes overestimate the effect of nurturing, but the effect is still there. A baby who is naturally more scared of strangers,...


6

Here are some pros and cons that I can think of: "The watchmen will reprimand you if he sees you" Pros: Communicating that social rules are enforced Teaching that actions may have consequences Convenient as you as a parent are not saying no Cons: Not communicating your own position on the matter (which means that the main message - that ...


5

Where I come from people do not pick up kids*, or anybody at all, without asking. It is a horrible, menacing feeling. In fact, I am a small adult and when I was young it has happened that men would actually pick me up if I refused to dance. This is why I learned self-defence; it did not end well for them. If you want to pick up a tiny kid, you stretch out ...


3

Have you thought about why you don't want your kid to vandalize things? No "authoritative" answer will be as convincing as your very own and authentic feelings and thoughts on the matter. Even "I don't want you to break it, because I like how it looks" will work better than any fake answer parroted from the internet. Kids have great BS ...


2

Dealing with this kind of thing starts at home. What do you say/do when he kicks something at home? In my home there is an emphasis on looking after our possessions. "Don't throw that, you'll break it, and then you can't play with it anymore. We look after our possessions." Emphasis on looking after our own things, because they are valuable and we ...


2

You can re-frame this as a question of cooperation. If you hold the door for someone who is carrying something heavy then it is extra work for you and a benefit to them. Society is about mutual cooperation. If you hold the door for someone today, then tomorrow you might be carrying something heavy and someone might hold the door for you. The benefit of ...


2

Karl answer is good. My daughter for one also was scared from everyone. Even people staring at her made her cry. Honestly we didn't do anything. Just asked people not to approach or pay attention to her in any way. After awhile she gets used with the person and interacts normally. "Awhile" I mean even half an hour or less. I have also seen grown-up ...


1

Something that really helped me when I remember being anxious, scared, and shy towards strangers as a kid was when an adult could hold their place emotionally. It's more difficult if a child is crying, but if you can focus on the moment and approach the "stranger" in a friendly matter, and they do the same, it can help with their fear. Kids feel ...


1

Actually both (2) and (3) are almost as bad as (1) because they only can be applied if someone knows what they did wrong. The question you need to ask yourself is not "How do I correct behaviour X?" but rather "Why is behaviour X wrong?" and "Why should anyone share my judgement of right and wrong regarding X?". And there is ...


1

First and foremost, we model very carefully and very visibly the behaviors with our children. We talk about the things we are missing that we really miss - I can't go to gymnastics, my wife can't go to the movies, we can't take a trip to go skiing; we talk about that frequently with the children, because it helps them normalize their feelings and puts them ...


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