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Stranger Danger or Precocious Preschooler?

Question

Dear John and the ParentGuru crew,

We have 5 years old daughter (adopted a year ago).

The issue is that she can go to total strangers and hug them or chat with them whenever an opportunity presents itself. We have told her that we do not speak to strangers but this does not work: she would talk to a stranger and then, when asked why she did that, would reply something like “Oh, that was our neighbor, wasn’t she?” or “Well, I know this person, he’s name is Alex” (while she does not know him at all). More often, she would not explain anything.

In the morning, she comes to our bedroom to lay with us and to cuddle. However, if we have guests sleeping at our house, she goes to the guest bedroom. When we tell her not to do that, she casually mumbles “Excuse me, I won’t do that again”… and does that again.

Now we are trying to figure out how to deal with this: the matter seems delicate and punishing her does not seem a viable option to resolve it. What would you suggest? Thank you!

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