Dear Random Stranger,
Back away from my child! Right now! I’m not sure why you think it’s appropriate to touch him. I am also not sure why you think it’s not appropriate for him to tell you “no”. He’s a person and he doesn’t know you. Why would he let a stranger touch him? Do you let strangers touch you? I don’t care that he didn’t speak to you. That doesn’t make him rude or spoiled. Again, he doesn’t know you. To him, you are just some new face who happens to be more than two feet taller than him. Can you imagine how scary you must look from where he stands? You might even seem a bit creepy.
As his parents, we are teaching him that he has a voice, an opinion and we respect it. We are teaching him that he deserves respect. He deserves it, not only from us but, from those around him. There is no way we want to teach him that he should be super-friendly to any old adult that comes his way. I don’t care that we’re at church. Crazy people go to church too. You might be the sweetest lady we’ve ever laid eyes on. You might be the nicest gentleman we’ll ever know. But that’s the thing we don’t “know” you. So trust, that my family would appreciate it if you would back up. Way up. Stop trying to pat our son on his head. When he frowned up at you, that meant he didn’t like it. He’s not Fido, he’s a child. He’s a person, albeit a small one, but a person none the less. The sooner you get that, the better off we’ll be.
Thank you kindly for respecting the space of my child,