I don't agree with the entirety of that article.
NO ONE WANTS TO BABYSIT YOUR KIDS JUST TO BE NICE.
I babysit my friend's and then neighbor kids all the time. This apparently makes me a pervert??
Geez.... I thought it was just because I really like toddlers and don't have any of my own any more and really like the part where I get to play for a few hours and then when they are cranky, tired, whiney-butts, they go HOME!
That said, if there is a weirdo at the park, he’s not going to fit the “stranger” model — so stop teaching your kid about strangers! He’s going to come up to your kid and introduce himself. Voila! He ain’t a stranger anymore.
WRONG!! My kids know that if ANYONE comes up to them for any reason that they are a "stranger" and they are to say nothing and immediately get myself or hubby. They won't stick around long enough for someone to introduce themselves, you start approaching them and they are leaving. Ask the friend of my boarder who was borrowing her trailer and didn't want to walk ALL the way up to the house and let me know like my boarder told him to (she had lost my phone number). He was introduced to my 20 Gauge after he tried to approach my eldest who went running for the house "Mommy, strange guy in our driveway and he tried to talk to me!"
Adults giving kids "gifts"? I'd be calling the authorities on 98% of the adults my kids have come into contact with. Every last teacher, coach, babysitter and so forth have bestowed countless quantities of "stuff" upon us. Noe if one child is being singled out to receive items that the rest isn't, then yes that would be worrisome but giving the whole group of kids stuff is not.