Monday, November 2, 2009

Maddeningly Unhelpful Advice-Traumatizing Children

Imagine if you will a family (mine) gathered together on a Monday night watching a film that talks of the "hidden dangers" in the world. To illustrate the point a metaphor of a crocodile hiding in various mud-filled watering holes is used. My 2 year old squeals with delight when he sees the crocodile (he loves crocodiles). "Look, mom, it's a crocodile!" The narrator's voice is calm and soothing while various animals drink from the water. Most are skittish, always looking around, always wary of the dangers lurking. The crocodile is creeping ever closer. My son is giggling. I'm smiling because it's such a fun, nature-filled video that the kids are enjoying. Then a family of elk begin drinking and the crocodile is moving in, the narrator's voice is even calmer, one by one the family of elk see the crocodile and pull away from the water. The only one left is the smaller one and SNAP the crocodile grabs him and pulls him into the water. I jump. My son's smile vanishes, replaced by a wide open mouth. My head whips towards my husband (who has seen the video and thought the kids would enjoy it). My son begins screaming, "SCARY CROCODILE!" My husband says, "Oh, uh, yeah, didn't think about the fact that it would scare him." Big tears are streaming down my son's face as he continues to whimper, "bad crocodile."

So, if you were wondering how to traumatize a two-year old, this works well. I can loan you the video. Or how about you just show up to the church Halloween party dressed like this:



That works too. Several children wouldn't get out of their cars when they saw Jared dressed like this. It doesn't help that he's 6'8" . He looked like death walking.

What about you? Have you traumatized any children lately? I'd love to hear how you do it.

22 comments:

  1. Aren't nature shows awesome. Maybe you need to show him where the wildebeast gets away from the lion and the crocodile.

    I have to say it takes a lot of guts to show up at a church party dressed like that. I have a nephew Jared who is almost as tall so I can just imagine what that would have been like.

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  2. ahh!!! I'm laughing so hard. Dying, in fact.I did the same thing a few weeks ago to my 3-year-old. We were watching the book trailer to "Sense and Sensibility with Sea Monsters" or something like that.

    There was a warning that it was not for young children. I paid it no heed.

    Of course while I'm watching my son decides to crawl up in my lap and watch it with me. Surek, were' looking at tentacles and what not, but I thought it was harmless.

    Until the man disappears in the water. And his hand pops up. Dear Damsel runs out into the water to save her man. But when she grabs the hand, it comes out of the water--complete with exposed bone and bloody flesh.

    And my child shrieks, "It broke his hand! It broke his hand!" His eyes were huge, his mouth open, his little head bobbing on his neck.

    Oops. Another bad mommy moment. Took me awhile to help him get over that one.

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  3. Even people who don't have children have the opportunity to freak them out. When I was a teacher, I showed a video (something about the microscopic world) that detailed all the creatures that live on our bodies, are on our pillows, our towels, our clothes. Let's just say, I emotionally scarred a bunch of middle school students. I'm just glad to know that you mommies have gotten them ready for their future freak outs. And I have to say, crocodiles have always terrified me, so your son shows great wisdom.

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  4. LOL

    Too funny! :) I've been there many a time. In fact, when my family is watching TV or a show, and my hubby has control of the remote, I have developed a code word for when my mommy sense is tingling that things are going to get too intense or scary. I don't want to draw attention to it, and make the kids realize that they should be scared, so I just say "Popcorn," and my hubby has to change the channel.

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  5. Harsh reality, yes, but now he's ready for Capt. Hook and the "clockodile."

    I am very glad Jared did not show up at my door Halloween night. VERY glad.

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  6. @Renee--I'm going to have to start doing that. DH doesn't believe me when I tell him it's too scary.

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  7. Patti, I know, especially when he scared a girl to the point of tears two years ago. We have some sick humor at work here. :)

    Tamara, you've made me want to go watch that book trailer now. It sounds delightful. LOL I'll make sure my son's not in the room. I'm glad that I'm not the only one traumatizing children.

    Julie, I saw a video like that on Oprah or something one time. It traumatized me! LOL I can only imagine how the middle schoolers handled it. :) Nothing like scaring the kids into bathing and washing their clothes. :)

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  8. Kasie you are too funny. By the way the costume scares me!

    My daughter loves Micky Mouse and during our trick or treating my husband and I spotted a dracula Mickey that we were cautious to hide from her.

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  9. Kasie you are too funny. By the way the costume scares me!

    My daughter loves Micky Mouse and during our trick or treating my husband and I spotted a dracula Mickey that we were cautious to hide from her.

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  10. Renee, that's funny. Now, when you say the word popcorn, do your children suddenly want popcorn? That would be the problem in my house. We must get a code word. Too bad my husband doesn't seem to know what would or wouldn't be traumatizing for the children. LOL

    Linda, we'll have to make a special trip to your house next Halloween. :) Ah yes, the Capt Hook's nemesis. I think he may have been why my son liked crocodile's to begin with. There are so many things in disney movies that can be traumatizing to children (can someone say Cruella?). But somehow when put in cartoon form they don't seem quite so bad. :)

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  11. Tamika, Dracula Mickey? Wow, sounds scandalous. LOL And, I know, my husband's costume scares me too.

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  12. I'm laughing so hard right now. partly because I know the exact video you're talking about and partly because I can imagine just how many little kids Jared scared at the party.

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  13. That is scary. But I think dressing your son up as dark Spiderman might be scarier, especially when it starts to take over his psyche and turning him into someone with super evil powers. See my blog. I'm doing NaHoCleMo now. You convinced me, even though writing hampers my creativity. The thing is, as my enemy we must always be in competition, so even though 5000 minutes is lofty, that is my goal.

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  14. Even though cleaning hampers my creativity. I mean.

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  15. Candi, yes, you know, you know. :)

    Jessie, wahoo! More motivation to win! Must beat my nemesis. :) And I know that when you said "writing hampers your creativity" that you really meant "cleaning". I remember reading your post on that. But yes, enemies must always be in competition. LOL

    And I hadn't thought about my son's psyche being taken over. Hmmm, an added benefit. :) I think his psyche is already full of evil powers that talk him into destroying my house.

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  16. LOL!!!!!!!!! I needed this laugh today. He looks freaky scary! Oh my goodness!!! I'll get Adam to dress like that next year. hehe.

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  17. Wow. Jared looks just like I do in the morning, which is one way to traumatize my child. As for other ways to traumatize a child ... ahhh, but let me count the ways:

    Hide in the hall closet and knock loudly. Said child will come running to the door. Door will open to no one. Child will shut the door only to hear the knock again. Depending on the diligence of child, child will either repeat the process or scream, such as what my child will do.

    Such fun.

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  18. 6'8"? Is that humanely possible? Yikes, that's some "big scary" (as my little nephew would say).

    Mmm, the most traumatized child I've seen lately has been our 8 yr old, on Saturday morning before her baptism, all nerves and worry about her dress. She chilled out eventually, after my husband talked her down from the ledge of emotion she'd climbed. And that was all before Halloween night.

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  19. I don' t need to, my son traumatizes himself. He wanted a scary costume for Halloween and so he picked a grim reaper. On Halloween he left half the costume off because he didn't want nightmares. Half a grim reaper is considerably less scary, apparently.

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  20. I traumatize mine by making them do their homework. Great stories. Your husband's costume is amazing. It would be so eerie to have someone that tall in that outfit. I can see why the kids were wary.

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