Monday, January 21, 2008

Traumatizing Our Children: A Family Tradition

When my three oldest children were little, and we were living in China, we had the opportunity to go to Hunan for Chinese New Year. While we were there, we heard about a place called Ma Wang Dui where an ancient tomb had been excavated. What the excavators found was a very well preserved 2000 year old corpse of a woman of nobility. Because of the way she was entombed, she was very well preserved and her skin was in excellent condition, despite the years of entombment. We decided that the opportunity to see this site was a once in a life time opportunity, and we should take our children so that they could see it too.

When we walked inside the main room, we saw that her organs were on display throughout the room in different glass vats. The actual corpse was actually below us on the next floor down, and we looked through an opening in the floor to see her. As we entered the room, my 4 year old put his hands over his eyes, and I had to lead him through the rest of the exhibit. When we got out of the exhibit, I asked him if he had been scared. He said, "She was everywhere!". My daughter was afraid of the actual corpse, and had many nightmares about "the old lady" in her childhood. Pretty much, we traumatized our kids for life.

You would think that making such a big mistake as parents would have taught us a lesson, but noooooooooo. We took our youngest son to see Body Worlds 2 last weekend. So far, he doesn't seem traumatized, but at least the other kids can't complain that we showed partiality.


Nene said...

I'm sure we traumatized our children on a regular basis when they were growing up. :0)

GoodyMom1 said...

all parents traumatize their children to varying degrees... if that's the worst they get i'd consider them quite lucky.

Max said...

Hello D,

As a daughter I can say that parents do traumatize their kids once in a while (and with minimal things...well, now I consider them minimal).
I think, though, that it is part of growing up; and that parents provide us with tools that will help us cope with life.

So don't worry; seeing the "old lady" is the least of their traumas (being disappointed by friends/best-friends can be a worse experience)...


Max said...

Hi D!

I came to tag you for an interesting tag:

Cheers and have a blessed weekend!