Jed walked down the corridors of Rockland Teaching Hospital with his children trailing close behind. Every time a stranger passed them, Caden would quicken his pace and clutch his hand. After the third time, Jed paused and knelt down to meet the boy’s eyes.

“What’s wrong, Little Man?” he asked softly.

“Teacher says strangers are bad,” Caden replied. “She said they like to take children away from their mommies and daddies and do bad things.”

“That is scary,” Jed agreed. “But, you know what? I think that you’ll be safe if you stay close by me. What do you think? Does that sound good? Just remember, the really bad strangers are the people that Mommy and Daddy don’t know and act suspicious, alright?”

“Sometimes people are strangers to us, but not Mommy and Daddy,” Chloe pointed out.

“Right. Your teacher wanted you to be safe and not talk to strangers who your parents don’t know. She didn’t want to scare you. Most strangers are safe. They’re just ordinary people, like Mommy and Daddy.” He paused, hoping that he’d allayed his son’s fears. Caden nodded and Jed stood up to continue their journey through the hospital.

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