Tuesday 26 September 2017

To the strange man on the bus: don't talk to my son again

Were scare tactics better for protecting our children than today's politically correct 'Stay Safe' programmes?

'Of course, we want to spare our children the violent ghouls and nefarious hobgoblins that populate the cautionary tales that for centuries, strived to keep them safe. But I’m not convinced political correctness, bolstered by cotton-wool parenting in the name of preserving innocence and stamping out fear, is doing a better job of it'. Stock photo: Getty
'Of course, we want to spare our children the violent ghouls and nefarious hobgoblins that populate the cautionary tales that for centuries, strived to keep them safe. But I’m not convinced political correctness, bolstered by cotton-wool parenting in the name of preserving innocence and stamping out fear, is doing a better job of it'. Stock photo: Getty

Aingeala Flannery

Last week, my eight-year-old son made a "new friend" on the bus. He was with two dozen other scab-kneed sun-blocked kids on the top deck. They were on a summer camp trip into town.

My lad firmly believes that strangers are just friends you've never met - no doubt he has a great future in the kitchen at parties. The only problem is that his new friend was "about Dad's age". Dad is 48.

He told me about the new friend as we did the shopping in Aldi, tossed spuds and celery into the trolley, and I tried to feign casual curiosity, but already my back was up. The sticker with his name written in black Sharpie was still stuck to his Minecraft T-shirt. The man began the conversation by complimenting him on his name.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss