February 8, 2015 by Dadinator
The Mamanator found a story today that cropped up on her Facebook feed earlier in the day. She told me about it as we were driving to my in-laws place, and watched as my head exploded. It exploded with rage and confusing as I found myself uncontrollably spitting bile and mouthing the words “What the F**K” to myself over and over again. The kids were in the back seat, which was all that stopped me screaming it at the top of my voice.
This happened. Click on the link. If the headline makes you want to rage-vomit come back here and I’ll give you the bare-bones of the story. Go on.
You back? Good. Here’s what happened:
A family in Missouri, USA decided that their son was too soft. He was too courteous or too outgoing. Maybe his soul was too good and too beautiful. His outlook on the word too optimistic. Or maybe he was too kind and too, you know, nice. Can’t have “nice” people in the world. So they had to do something about it. Toughen the boy up.
So they organised with other family members to stage a kidnapping of the boy. He was lured into a car, blindfolded, tied up and confined for 4 hours. 4 FREAKING HOURS.
Also: He was 6 years old.
6 years old
If I had the capacity to write that in flashy writing that travelled across the screen and changed colours over and over again I would because man… 6 years old. I just… I can’t….
6? Sorry I can’t seem to get past that point, because he was 6. Man…..
Being nice is not a bad thing. Being nice is not a flaw. Being nice and being optimistic about the world actually gives you the capacity to make a better world as time goes on. In the past parents focussed so much on “toughening up” our children – especially boys, on teaching them harsh lessons, making a “man” of them and all that bullshit. Why? Why would we do that to children?
Some say because the world has become more dangerous. Because there are evil people out there. Because the world is a harsh place, because they might get cheated, exploited or hurt if they are not constantly on their guard.
This is actual bullshit. Total bullshit. Because if you mistrust everyone, you can’t trust anyone and you can’t love anyone what does that make you? I’ve written about this at more length before, putting my position forward in a post which tied in the greek philosophers Plato, Socrates and cats, so I won’t repeat myself too much here.
But if they are constantly on their guard, what do they lose? What of love and friendship? What of compassion? What of care for others.
But to the parents of that kid I say this: Congratulations. You set out to show your kid that the world is a horrible place, with sick evil people who could hurt you at any time. And you know how you did it? Because you ARE the evil, sick bastards in this story. Just goes to demonstrate how in most cases of child abuse the criminals are known by the victim, not strangers in the street.
You cannot protect someone by traumatising them. Period.
And that’s my rage-vomit for the day.
Back to regularly scheduled programming soon….