My pre-schooler is showing signs of a very friendly personality. At the grocery store last weekend he waved cheerfully and yelled "hi" at the top of his voice to anyone we met in an aisle. He chatted tirelessly with the cashier, asking if she knew where the chocolate Easter eggs were.
This afternoon I caught him leaning out the open window (on the ground floor, don't worry), waving and yelling to someone across the street - a woman walking her dog. The woman had stopped to smile and wave back at him, perhaps not wanting to seem rude, perhaps a little embarrassed.
Wherever we are, he wants to talk to people. He talks all day long: to me, to the dog, to our next-door neighbours, the mail man, the guy at the grocery store, the old lady at the park - whoever happens to be there at the time.
Only a child, or the mentally unsound, could stop a complete stranger and start up a random conversation that begins with an anecdote about diggers, moves onto the airplane in the sky above, and promptly switches with extreme enthusiasm to the squirrel climbing the tree across the street.
It's too bad that, despite being utterly proud, my mind naturally swerves to the idea that his friendliness could, potentially, pose a risk to him, and that maybe I should reign in his outgoing personality a little.
It's a shame it has to be this way. If only I could guaruntee the world would respond in the kind, genuine way he believes it will. If only I could protect him forever.
We haven't had to tackle the issue of talking to strangers. We haven't needed to.
How and when did you tackle it?