Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Scaring Children

I read Eve's article on how little girls should not take makeup too seriously and posted Megan's Halloween picture.

This got me thinking more about Halloween and horror movies and the subject of this post.

What are my kids afraid of?

For my son, it's flunking.  Not joking.  He *REALLY* obsesses about studying and being on top of his exams.  The MCAS?  Forget it.  You even mention that it is remotely attached to college (not high school, college) and he's all over it.  I know I instill a healthy respect for education (what responsible parent wouldn't), however I believe I've created quite the monster.  It hasn't reached problematic levels yet - while he does stress about tests, once they're over and he brings home his "A", he levels-off pretty quickly.  Also to our benefit, our daughter is 4 years younger so there's no competition academically.

But that is his nightmare.  If he somehow missed or failed an exam - it would be world-shattering.  Note that my wife and I would totally understand and not make such a big deal out of it (I mean, c'mon, these are middle-school quizzes) but he would be so self-deprecating - it would take effort to pick him back up and dust himself off.

My daughter is still a kid.  So the expected things frighten her.  Strangers, riding in a car with no seatbelt, riding a bike with no helmet, large barky dogs, bees (omg, the bees), and being alone.  These are all understandable and shows a pretty good effort toward responsible parenting (see what I did there?)

Now, there are some that believe the only way to overcome your fears is to confront and move past them.  Clearly, I'm not going to sabotage my son's academics just for a psychological experiment.  However, if the law of averages has anything to say about it, he will come home with a less-than-stellar mark eventually and we'll progress as a family.

For my daughter, the dogs will appear smaller as she gets larger.  I have no idea what to do about the bees, though.

One thing that I am looking forward to is when they're old enough to enjoy horror movies.  I have a slight reservation that I'm not the cool-relative that's supposed to be exposing them to these, though (I'm the DAD)- it should be a cousin that sneaks a DVD or a Netflix download when nobody's looking.  That makes it all the more taboo and engaging.

 I'm glad I have them.  The alternative is just too chilling even for me.


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