Think about your best friend, the one who knows you best,
the one you love the most, the one you would do anything for
and who would do anything for you. At one time that friend was a
stranger. Over time you got to know this person and grew to trust him.
Suppose you had run away the first time you saw this stranger.
Suppose you never allowed him to get near you. Suppose you
refused to answer him when he spoke to you. You would have
lost all the good times you could have shared, all the comfort when
you were sad, all the help you needed when you were alone.
This is the fallacy of 'stranger danger'. Everyone you know was a
stranger at one time. There is always a risk that the next new person
you meet will not be friendly to you but the reward that comes from
giving people a chance is worth it.
This is every bit as true for children as it is for adults. Children
need friends too. Children make friends easily -- and that goes for
friendships with grown-up men and women, if they are allowed to
make them. Adults who like children can be very good friends to them.
They are very patient and understanding. They will give their time.
They will pass on the benefit of their wisdom and experience. Many of
the friendships that are formed in childhood can be a blessing for a
lifetime if they are allowed to continue. Please don't stamp them out.