Reply To: Strangers

Overall, I think that when you feel uncomfortable with the way something is or the way certain people are around your child, it’s worth trusting your instinct and going with your gut reaction, cultural differences and social niceties be damned. Let’s imagine if she were (heaven forbid) in actual trouble: you wouldn’t even hesitate to step in, right? I doubt your instincts would even let you stop and think about it. That instinct, to me at any rate, is worth listening to even when you don’t fully trust your own judgement as to whether or not you’re overreacting in that precise instant. Have faith in yourself! I know it’s hard if you’re a person who has a tendency to second-guess themselves, though…

The fact that you’re thinking about this and have even reached out to others to seek their opinions/get feedback shows what a conscientious and caring person you are! It’s unequivocally good to aim to be mindful of others, and take culture into consideration when it differs from what we’ve grown up with! I don’t by any means wish to imply that we should always jump in with all guns blazing when someone pushes boundaries a smidgeon more than we are used to (and I know it can feel even harder to speak up when we as foreigners already stand out more than usual and we don’t want to draw attention), BUT I also feel very strongly that when it comes to looking after our small children, we are their first line of defence until they are plenty old enough to stand up for themselves, and as such it’s okay to teach them by our own example to say – politely but firmly – “no” to people who are making them feel uncomfortable or behaving inappropriately (strangers or otherwise)!

Also, I’m still mad at that woman. Creepy ass.