Stranger Danger - Where Are the Lines?

I am a mother of two small children, ages 6 and 3.  We constantly go over Stranger Danger with our 6 year old when she has field trips with her class or summer camp.  We give her scenarios in which she should not speak to someone, remind her of what to say ("YOU'RE NOT MY MOMMY/DADDY!") and tell her what to do (find an adult she can trust, e.g. her teacher, a police officer, etc.).  She always does really well in our scenarios. Well, another one presented itself today.

We were at the park across the street from our home this evening after school.  There were lots of kids there and a few parents, obviously having a play date of sorts.  My children were playing on the equipment and rolling their Matchbox cars down the slide, having a good time.  There were quite a few children of all ages playing Freeze Tag in the greenbelt.  My daughter walked over to the edge of the grass to look at them. I then saw my daughter talking to the mom and gesturing to her brother.  What I overheard was this:

Mom: Hi, how are you?
Daughter: I'm fine.
M: What's your name?
D: She says her name.  That's my brother and says his name. (she then points to him)
M: How old are you?
D: Six.  My brother is three.
M: Would you like to go down and play tag?
D: No, thank you.

A few minutes later the mom came over to me and told me that I had such cute kids and I thanked her.  I watched the entire thing, so she was always safe.  After everyone had left, I asked her what the conversation was and she told me.  I'd asked her if the woman asked her if she wanted some candy, what would she say and she said yes.  I told her that she is to never accept anything from anyone without my permission first.  I know she's only six and these things are sometimes hard to remember, so here is where the questions come in...

I obviously don't want my child to be rude, so when this woman says "hello" to her there's no reason for her to scream 'YOU'RE NOT MY MOMMY!" to her, but she is a stranger and that is what we teach her.  We were at our neighborhood park and I was watching the whole time, so is speaking to someone acceptable then?  How do you teach someone that age, who thinks in absolutes, that sometimes it's okay and sometimes it isn't okay?  We live in a typical quiet suburban neighborhood (a town, actually, if you can believe it) and I feel very safe here, but I also grew up in Washington D.C. where you were taught to have your guard up at all times.

If we are in a store and my child is right next to me and someone speaks to them, they look up at me and I tell them it is okay to speak back, as not to be rude.  I find myself waving to a cute child or saying hello, but (I don't think) I ever do so if the parent isn't around.

I don't want to confuse her and I don't want to over think this (which is what I tend to do with everything anyway) but as parents, how do you handle it?


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