Taiwan kiddies and Stranger Danger

After six months in Taipei, and a number of experiences with young children which would be considered quite outrageous in Australia (naively friendly at best and legally liable at worst), I am wondering exactly what - if anything - Taiwanese teach their children about ‘Stranger Danger’?

That they’re only dangerous if they have big noses and blonde hair?

I don’t think there’s much taught to them about stranger danger the way there is back home. I wonder if they even fingerprint their kids here.

I could understand that, but it doesn’t seem like they’re even taught that. I flatter myself that I’m as foreign looking as the next foreigner, but that doesn’t stop parents:

[ul][li] Encouraging their kiddies to talk to me on the MRT
[/li]
[li] Rolling their infant towards me in its pram, so that it can play with my fingers
[/li]
[li] Actually picking up their child (who caught my eye from another table in a restaurant and started playing ‘peek a boo’), and carrying them over to me to say hello[/li][/ul]

:noway:

You’re telling me!

I have to keep some of my little kids at school from trying to rub their finger along the stubble on my face. They seem to find it fascinating, and have absolutely zero inhibitions about reaching up to stroke my cheek, giggle, and say something hilarious in Chinese to their friends nearby.

In Australia that would probably get me arrested (‘Incitement to corrupt a minor’ or something). Here my colleagues just laugh.

Well I don’t think we do that in Australia either. Where are you from, Canada? :astonished:

Is this for real? I was so intrigued by this question that I emailed one of my sisters and asked her about it. She’s never heard of it either and none of my 12 nephews or nieces have been fingerprinted. Is this a common American thing?

Just because Australia has some screwed up social issues doesn’t mean you should question Taiwanese parents ability to raise their children.
The better question might be - why do you feel they need to teach them about ‘Stranger Danger’? Do Taiwanese parents need to instill the type of paranoid fear that fuels Western countries into their children? Would it make you feel better if every time you touched a child on the shoulder someone accused you of molestation?

Yes Sandman, Americans are extremely paranoid about strangers and their children…hell they are even paranoid about relatives and their children…it’s a beautiful way to grow up… :unamused:

I haven’t questioned their ability to raise their children in the least. On the contrary, both my wife (who is from the US), and I have found it completely refreshing and extremely encouraging to live in a culture in which people don’t seem as suspicious and paranoid about this issue as they are in our home countries.

I love the fact that they can be taught to trust adults instead of being taught to fear them.

I love the fact that I can hug the kiddies at my school. I love the fact that they can hug me back. I love the fact that they can hold my hand if they want.

Back in Australia, where Iworked for three and a half years at a private girls’ school, I had to be on guard every minute of the day. Any of the above acts would have had the potential to lose me my job, and possibly also my career and reputation.

I’m actually trying to understand how the Taiwanese culture works in this area, and I’m especially trying to understand how they balance this openess with intelligent safety instruction for their children.

I believe that all children need to be taught some form of ‘Stranger Danger’. But I believe it should be done gradually and in stages, according to the age of the child, and intelligently so that the child does not lose their innocence and trust at an early age.

Certainly not. No one does. :loco:

Ah, you mean ‘So how did you feel when you were working at a girls’ school in Australia?’.

The answer to that is that I felt on guard every moment of the day, because I knew I was being watched constantly.

My boss (who was really a very good sort), used to remind me regularly that I was the subject of unrelenting scrutiny, and that a single slip - even the result of thoughtlessness - could ruin my entire career. :astonished:

Is this for real? I was so intrigued by this question that I emailed one of my sisters and asked her about it. She’s never heard of it either and none of my 12 nephews or nieces have been fingerprinted. Is this a common American thing?[/quote]

Not that common but I do know someone who owns a business that sells Fingerprint ID kits. The idea is that you fingerprint your kids once a year, put it on a tag along with a current picture, and attach it to backpack, daycare bag, carseat etc. If the kid gets kidnapped, hurt in an auto accident, or lost, there’s some kind of identification on the child as well as any health conditions.

It’s a fact of life in a sick world. Give the Taiwanese a little more time, say ten or twenty years, and they’re going to be just as paranoid.

I’m incredibly paranoid about my children and men, relatives or not. By the time I was sixteen, I’d been molested and violently raped by six different people, including my stepfather and “friends” of the family. I don’t know what it is about me that tells predators I make a good victim.

It’s wonderful that Taiwanese are still very trusting and friendly, but that will change.

Edit: I should add that while I’m paranoid, that doesn’t mean that I teach my kids not to trust people, and especially relatives, just that I am very, very aware and I will not leave my children, especially my girls, alone with a man other than their father*. Period.

*I know fathers also abuse their children, but I know my husband wouldn’t. He knows what I’d do to him.

When I first started teaching, I was always terrified when a kiddie would hug me or hold my hand, etc. I was paranoid that someone would see it and accuse me of molesting a child or acting inappropriately. As the years passed, I learned that it is acceptable and even encouraged. Now, I wouldn’t want it any other way. :slight_smile:

Oh yeah, one thing does bother me. When I am shopping, some parents encourage their children to poke the white man. Maybe this only happens in my little city… :idunno:

What I don’t understand is why they aren’t that paranoid now, and why it will take another 20 years?

Poke the white man! Maybe that’s what they’re trying to do on the MRT. Well, fine with me. I don’t mind providing them with 5 minutes of entertainment. :bravo:

[quote=“ImaniOU”]That they’re only dangerous if they have big noses and blonde hair?

I don’t think there’s much taught to them about stranger danger the way there is back home. I wonder if they even fingerprint their kids here.[/quote]
Fingerprint their kids? I’ve never heard of this. Where does such a thing take place?

That sounds WAAAAY past the point of paranoia to me.

So let me get this straight. Your kids are going to grow up with no men in their lives whatsoever (with the exception of their father, no doubt under VERY strict supervision)? What happens when they go to school? I know from your posts that you have your reasons for these wacky ideas, but to inflict that on your own kids and to no doubt colour their perceptions with your own – whether consciously or subliminally – while keeping them away from normality, sounds terribly unfair to me.
And actually, most fathers DON’T molest their daughters. Nor do MOST men in general molest little girls. :s

Kidnapping is…I don’t dare say common, but at least well-known here.

I suppose the logical solution would be electronic tagging.

That sounds WAAAAY past the point of paranoia to me.

So let me get this straight. Your kids are going to grow up with no men in their lives whatsoever (with the exception of their father, no doubt under VERY strict supervision)? What happens when they go to school? I know from your posts that you have your reasons for these wacky ideas, but to inflict that on your own kids and to no doubt colour their perceptions with your own – whether consciously or subliminally – while keeping them away from normality, sounds terribly unfair to me.
And actually, most fathers DON’T molest their daughters. Nor do MOST men in general molest little girls. :s[/quote]

I wrote that post very quickly. I really didn’t think someone would pick it apart. I’m sorry I wasn’t clearer. Of course most fathers don’t molest their children and most men don’t molest children.

As to what I’m going to do when they’re out of my sight, I’m still working on that one. So far, I’ve told my teenager a little about what happened to me as a kid. The others are young or still pretty sheltered; they’ll find out about it when they’re older and I decide they’re able to understand it. I also started telling them at about 3 that certain parts of their body are “private” and no one should touch them there unless they say it’s okay(mommy and daddy/nanny clean you, doctor checks you out). There is also a whole lot of prayer involved, something you probably think is pretty wacky too, judging from your posts.

I know there’s a lot I have to leave to their judgment. The older two and I have talked about how sometimes you get a feeling about someone, and you need to trust your gut. There’s a book called “Protecting the Gift” by Gavin Debecker that addresses a lot of parents concerns about safety.

I’m not advocating sheltering children and being so protective that they never learn to fend for themselves. To be honest, I’m a little hurt by your post but maybe I’m just hypersensitive today. Anyone who knows me in real life knows I’m an extremely trusting person, sometimes to a fault, but I have had enough experiences to know when to trust my instincts.

Ah well, I was in turn a little hurt by your implication that “men” are child molesters, which is why I was perhaps snippier than I ought to have been. For that I apologise.
And I’m not about to go searching, but I believe I remember reading somewhere that some women are just as likely as men to abuse kids. So, do you also prevent your children from being alone with women, period?
Anyway, the last thing I want is to get involved in an argument with you about something I have no business being involved in.

I’ve had my students mention "bad touching’ or something like that. Anyway, it was apparent that someone had taught them about it.

Brian

[quote=“Chris”]
Fingerprint their kids? I’ve never heard of this. Where does such a thing take place?[/quote]

in the us. back in the early 90s, blockbuster joined up with marvel comics to host an annual august event where parents could tape their kid saying their names and ages and the like. parents left with a id packet from kidprint and the video.

i still have my tape…we were all ‘kidprinted’ in my family.

[quote=“Fortigurn”] Encouraging their kiddies to talk to me on the MRT
[] Rolling their infant towards me in its pram, so that it can play with my fingers
[
] Actually picking up their child (who caught my eye from another table in a restaurant and started playing ‘peek a boo’), and carrying them over to me to say hello[/list]
:noway:

Seeing as I’m older than you I remember a time in Australia in the 70’s that people didnt know how to react when they saw all the new asian faces popping up ( courtesy of the Americans making a lot of refugees )

I think that as the parents are with the kids that’s different from their kids just wandering off with a complete stranger.

It’s not so bad they encourage their children to actually have communication with the foreigners… better than teaching then to react negatively. Sure it’s gets on your case sometimes but overall just be pleasant.

It comes with being a stranger in a strange land.

[quote=“Satellite TV”]I think that as the parents are with the kids that’s different from their kids just wandering off with a complete stranger.

It’s not so bad they encourage their children to actually have communication with the foreigners… better than teaching then to react negatively.[/quote]

I definitely agree with this.

[quote]Sure it’s gets on your case sometimes but overall just be pleasant.

It comes with being a stranger in a strange land.[/quote]

Actually I’ve never found it to get on my case at all, it’s a refreshing change from the paranoia I’m used to back home.