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For those of you who have read it, it helped me yesterday evening.

After dinner, my family and I went to the carpet store for a new runner for our steps. I had ds in the sling and my 4 year old dd was playing while my DH placed the order.

There were some foam letter puzzle tiles that dd was playing with on the floor. I was standing right next to her. A sales associate came over and asked if we were being helped. I told him we were. Then he said hi to dd, who kept playing. He gave her a couple more tiles to play with and showed her how they go together then left. Innocent enough, right? Right.

Then he comes back again, says something about her knowing her letters and doing a good job w/the puzzles tiles . She's done playing now and we leave that area.

A little while later, we're in a different section of the store where there is a roll of carpet on the floor. DD is walking on it, pretending it's a log. He goes to the other side of the "log" and does tickly fingers and says, "I'm gonna get you." I didn't like it and I said, "Okay, that's enough logging, DD."

Then he starts playing peekaboo w/her between rolls of vinyl flooring. She starts laughing and getting distracted and I call her again. When he hears her name again, he says, "Is your name DD? That's a nice name." She comes over to me and I take her hand. We're walking away and he says to the baby, "Hi little guy. He's so cute. I have grandchildren, etc. "

As we're walking over to the counter, he asks DD if she wants to watch a movie. I said, "No thanks." What does he do? He goes over to the children's area and puts Shrek on and asks her, "Do you like Shrek? Did you see Shrek 3? You can sit down and watch." So I said, "No thank you. She can't watch the movie," a little more assertively. Then I told my husband we'd be next door at the craft store and we left.

We were in the store for about 30 minutes and the whole thing just made me feel really uncomfortable. It could have been an innocent exchange and if I hadn't read the book, I think I would have seen it as such or just chalked it up to a "weird feeling." However, the way he made a point to say her name and address her, ignore my requests, and be so pushy when it came to the movie reminded me of the signs in the book.

He could have really been a grandfather who likes being around children, but I felt that he was playing me, especially the way he tried to "reel me back in" by saying that he had grandchildren. It seemed like that was his way of saying, "I see that I'm scaring you so now I'm going to say something that lets you know that I'm really not a bad guy."

I don't know. I could be wrong, but my instinct and what I read in the book made me feel very uncomfortable and I hightailed it.

Have you ever had a situation like that?
 

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I just finished reading that book, it's wonderful!

I've always prided myself on having good instincts when it comes to people .. I almost instantly know if someone is trustworthy, dishonest, etc. But that book really helped me have the confidence to ACT on my instinct instead of explaining it away or trying to ignore it.

Good for you for following your instincts .. you very well may have saved DD from a predator.
 

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Good for you for following your instincts. I HATE it when people ignore the parents and engage your children trying to entice them with candy, cookies, movies etc.... It's totally inappropriate and I think I would take it one step further and make a complaint to the store. The manager needs to know that being friendly with children is ok but to follow you around trying to play with your child, trying to get your child seperated from you and to ignore your decisions about your child is just not appropriate.
 

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Man, that is textbook creepy! Good for you for following your instincts!

I agree with amcal that a follow-up with the manager would be appropriate. If he's really just a clueless guy, which I kind of doubt, he needs to *get* a clue. If, god forbid, he's a real predator, you could be protecting other kids whose parents haven't been educated.
 

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I haven't read Protecting the Gift, but I would have felt uncomfortable too. I haven't been in this situation but I get strangers offering DS candy all the time.

Now that's REALLY annoying. Luckily for me, DS is not a candy-type child so he always graciously accept the candy from the stranger while saying "thank you" and I smile through my teeth and say "he will enjoy this after dinner" and wait until they are out of sight, and wait until DS is distracted and throw the candy away.

DS never asks for his candy so I don't feel bad.
 

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We were at a neighbor's cook out recently and they had an invited guest from work, a guy in his fifties.

He was just inordinately fascinated with dd, kept trying to talk to her and engage her even though she was doing the shy 3 year old thing and not looking at him or answering him. Most people realize the kid isn't into them at that point and laugh it off - oh she must be shy, how cute - and then go do something else. But this guy would not stop.

I felt uncomfortable about stopping him, because he was our neighbor's friend and a lot of people were watching, so forth. He ended up trying to tickle her and pick her up, and she responded with fear, so at that point I walked away carrying her, saying that she wasn't feeling well or something. I wish I had stood up for her in front of him, to show dd how it is acceptable to set boundaries with people. I regret handling it the way I did.

Later he was in a corner with our neighbor's 3 yo daughter, off away from everyone else, trying to get her to stay sitting in his lap while she was wanting to leave. It was creeping me out, but he was their family friend and it didn't seem as though it would go over well at all to say anything.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by olliepop View Post

As we're walking over to the counter, he asks DD if she wants to watch a movie. I said, "No thanks." What does he do? He goes over to the children's area and puts Shrek on and asks her, "Do you like Shrek? Did you see Shrek 3? You can sit down and watch." So I said, "No thank you. She can't watch the movie," a little more assertively. Then I told my husband we'd be next door at the craft store and we left.

We were in the store for about 30 minutes and the whole thing just made me feel really uncomfortable. It could have been an innocent exchange and if I hadn't read the book, I think I would have seen it as such or just chalked it up to a "weird feeling." However, the way he made a point to say her name and address her, ignore my requests, and be so pushy when it came to the movie reminded me of the signs in the book.

He could have really been a grandfather who likes being around children, but I felt that he was playing me, especially the way he tried to "reel me back in" by saying that he had grandchildren. It seemed like that was his way of saying, "I see that I'm scaring you so now I'm going to say something that lets you know that I'm really not a bad guy."

I don't know. I could be wrong, but my instinct and what I read in the book made me feel very uncomfortable and I hightailed it.

Have you ever had a situation like that?
I would call and tell the manager exactly what you said. Period. And De Becker's advice about listening to your gut is some of the best out there.
 

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I also like this book. Such good information. OP, yes, I think he was playing you, but too bad for him you know the game.

Blessed -- creepy. But you know, is there any way that you could bring it up? Maybe just say, I noticed something that was kind of weird -- have you ever noticed this? or something. That's REALLY not right.

Good for you, ladies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
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I would call and tell the manager exactly what you said. Period. And De Becker's advice about listening to your gut is some of the best out there.
I am going to call the manager and voice my concerns. Could be something, could be nothing, but whatever his motives -- it was just too much and not a comfortable atmosphere.

This is a little OT, but the pp's story about the inappropriate guy at the party reminded me of a party my grandparents had when I was about 7 or 8. There were two really distant teenage cousins of mine who attended the party. I'd never met either of them before and my mother told me to stay away from them.

I remember telling the girl I had been playing with. She was there with her grandmother -- she was about 11 or 12 and she had a cast on her arm. She asked me why we were supposed to stay away from them and I said I didn't know, but my mom told me to.

Later on, I couldn't find the girl anywhere. I finally looked in my grandparents' room and there she was crying next to their bed. I asked what was wrong and she told me that one of the boys raped her. Only I didn't know what that meant. I knew it was something bad though and she told me that she finally got him to stop after hitting him really hard w/her cast. She made me promise not to tell anyone b/c she was ashamed and b/c I didn't really understand, I didn't tell until years later.

When I finally told my mother and asked her how she knew, she told me that he had a history of raping young girls. I was so angry with her. Her warning wasn't enough.

Quote:
It was creeping me out, but he was their family friend and it didn't seem as though it would go over well at all to say anything.
I think you should mention it to your friends, not in an accusatory way, but just plant the seed and let them know what you saw and HOW you saw it. Maybe it will open their eyes.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by blessed View Post
Later he was in a corner with our neighbor's 3 yo daughter, off away from everyone else, trying to get her to stay sitting in his lap while she was wanting to leave. It was creeping me out, but he was their family friend and it didn't seem as though it would go over well at all to say anything.
I would have told the parents about the situation, no matter what, even intruded on him! I have seen a similar situation like that on a playground as well and I went over to ask the child if everything was alright. The kid saw his opportunity and ran off, leaving the creep mumbling something of play etc. I could not find the child nor the parent and while turning around looking for the kid, the guy was gone within seconds. Children definitely need protection from creeps!

I have never read that book either, but I have always had pretty good instincts about people and since the birth of ds my instinct regarding other people, children and adults alike around my child have gotten even stronger, more protective. I think it was great olliepop that you trusted your instinct as well and acted on it too!
 

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Originally Posted by Maggieinnh View Post
I would have told the parents about the situation...
They were right there. It was a get together with a room full of people. They guy wasn't hiding what he was doing. But everyone was treating it like some weird Uncle Al thing. You know where the kid is obviously uncomfortable and trying to make an exit but the grown up insists on continuing to 'play' with them. And it's all in good 'fun'.
 

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Originally Posted by mistymama
But that book really helped me have the confidence to ACT on my instinct instead of explaining it away or trying to ignore it.
Same for me.

Good thing you stuck up and by your dd. The tickling thing would've really creeped me out as well. And I definately would not have been happy about the movie thing.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by blessed View Post
They were right there. It was a get together with a room full of people. They guy wasn't hiding what he was doing. But everyone was treating it like some weird Uncle Al thing. You know where the kid is obviously uncomfortable and trying to make an exit but the grown up insists on continuing to 'play' with them. And it's all in good 'fun'.
If the parents were right there when it was happening and did nothing I would buy the book and give it to them as a gift.
 

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Today at the fruit stand an older man came up and was talking to dd. She was leaning against my leg and answering him with her eyes down. At one point he said something about 'going flying' and was reaching down to pick her up (!)

I was surprised and sort of sputtered "Oh, no thanks!" and pulled her closer to me.

It wasn't any big deal at all, but I wondered if I might have just let him pick her up - or even encouraged her not to pull away from the nice man
: - before I was more aware.
 

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The odds of a child being sexually abused by a stranger are infinitessimal (although that's all you ever hear about on the evening news) -- it's almost always someone they know well and trust.

However, "Trust your gut," is the best advice anybody ever gave me -- good for you for trusting yours and protecting your child!
 

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Originally Posted by Venice Mamacita View Post
The odds of a child being sexually abused by a stranger are infinitessimal (although that's all you ever hear about on the evening news) -- it's almost always someone they know well and trust.

However, "Trust your gut," is the best advice anybody ever gave me -- good for you for trusting yours and protecting your child!

Actually, that's a major theme in the book - that we need to be less worried about every person we don't know in the world, more open to potential problems with people we do know, and trust our instincts in every case rather than reacting to phrases like "stranger danger" when strangers usually aren't the dangerous ones.
 
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