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.