Via Free-Range Kids:
My son is only 4, and I have pretty much put the fear of God in him about strangers! It’s a constant conversation (especially lately) that is not at all sugar coated! He knows that there are very bad people that can take him and hurt him. I’ve told him that he would never see us again, and reminded him that there’s not a thing in the world that a stranger offers him (candy, puppy, bike, etc) that we can’t give him. I also told him that “crazy people” have Spiderman webs and even if you just walk up to their car, they can spin a web and get you! Over dramatic? Maybe… but I would rather scare my child than put flyers up with his picture on it! let me also remind you that there is a substantial amount of crime that doesn’t make it to the 6 o’clock news…
Anxiety is not good for us. Our bodies aren’t made to steep in cortisol:
The long-term activation of the stress-response system — and the subsequent overexposure to cortisol and other stress hormones — can disrupt almost all your body’s processes. This puts you at increased risk of numerous health problems, including:
Memory and concentration impairment
There are, indeed, very bad people who can take him and hurt him. But they are few and far between, none have Spiderman web powers, and most of them aren’t strangers. So Jackie, the quoted mother is screwing her four-year-old up emotionally and physically for what? For her own narcissistic needs—she scares him not so that he won’t get hurt, but so that Jackie won’t put up flyers with his picture on them.
And why not? “Constantly” “scaring” this four-year-old doesn’t cost Jackie anything—even though she isn’t making him any safer, she isn’t the one who is at risk of depression, heart disease, and mental impairment.
It doesn’t cost her anything, but it’ll cost someone. Do you think it’s more likely that those few “very bad people” spent their childhoods being kids, or that they spent their childhoods constantly anxious and afraid?
“Mommy, Mommy! How are monsters made?”
Shut up or the strangers will get you.