My first reaction was to be annoyed and miffed at my husband. After all, this little girl fell and he merely looked to *me* to help. So when I asked my husband why he didn't bend down, pick her up, check that she was okay, I remembered a recent article I had read in the Wall Street Journal [Writer's Note: I *wish* I could say I read such things on a regular basis, however I only happened upon it at the gym with nothing "better" to read.] My husband's answer mirrored the thoughts of the article exactly.
[I'm paraphrasing ... this was a few weeks ago.]
Him: I'm a Dude. I don't want to touch a little girl and look like some pervert.
Me: (Hmmm...) I guess I hadn't thought of that.
Him: I knew you were right there. The Mom wouldn't look at you funny if you picked her up. If she were really hurt, and you weren't here, I would have helped. But I have to be careful, especially around little girls.
Man, how crazy is that? A Dad at the park with his kids has to be careful around the other kids, just because he's a man. Not me. Not a Mom. I never would have thought of that.
This WSJ article spoke to that. A man reported having a "hands-up" approach like a cornered robber when he is near children in a grocery store, mall, or other setting with little ones. He went on to say that although it *is* true that men prey on our children much more than women, that we must be careful not to exclude women from "stranger danger" conversations. He added that women, in fact, actually outnumber men statistically in harm committed against a child (presumably because there are more female caregivers).
The incident at the park, coupled with the article got me thinking. How can we teach our children to be apprehensive of strangers, but not make every man out to be a pervert, or "bad guy?"