Did you ever wonder why our parents found it necessary to scare the shit out of us when we were children?
If you eat cookie dough, you’ll get worms in your stomach…
Don’t crack your knuckles or they’ll get big and gnarly and gross…
You’d better go to bed early, before the boogie man comes to get you…
The thing about these little bits of scariness is that in this particular day and age, there is so much information floating around just at our fingertips. You want to know if something is true or not? Type the question into Google or just ask Siri.
I made the mistake of telling my daughter the knuckle thing just recently and she laughed at me. She happened to take a medical anatomy class in high school and her teacher said it was a myth. If anything, cracking your knuckles actually helps release tension and is good for your hands. There are things that can make your knuckles huge and your hands gross and gnarly, like arthritis*, but it doesn’t happen from cracking your knuckles.
Obviously, the other ones I’ve listed are clearly scare tactics, but there are others that actually make you wonder, is that really true? I’m betting that most of them are crap, and it makes me wonder why parents find it necessary to feed their children lies. We are raised that lying is a bad thing, but we are inundated with them when we are children – Santa Clause to name one of the big ones.
I remember when my mother told me the truth and I cried and cried. It was traumatizing, but somehow we make it okay to do this to our children as, I don’t know, “all in good fun?” I admit that I did the same thing with my own children, but I wish I hadn’t. I wish I had felt the same way when I was younger that I do now. I started to change my ideals as they were growing and I didn’t make a big show out of the “reveal;” I just stopped hiding the fact that I was the one putting the presents under the tree. They eventually figure it out on their own and either ask or just start talking about it openly, but I no longer agree that lying to our children, especially in an attempt to control or scare them, is the right way to bring them up.
I still have things I say that make me stop and think, is that really true or is that a myth too? Luckily, I have all that information at hand, and you can bet I ask.
It always makes me laugh when an intense argument happens over information. Why don’t we just look up the answer? I usually do. Some of that comes with being a perfectionist… although now that I think about it, that isn’t an entirely honorable reason to want information. I don’t like feeling like an idiot when I firmly believe something is true, only to find out it’s been bullshit all along.
Perhaps it will make you think twice when you pass along a myth you heard as a child. Nine times out of ten, there is no validity to the claim whatsoever.
*I would just like to point out that I didn’t look up whether arthritis does this to your hands, although maybe I should. 🙂
Note: It must be my mind frame, but I honestly thought this post was going to have a bit of fun in it, but I think it comes across as something else, and since it’s stream of consciousness, I can’t change it… So, just know that I really meant it as a funny, “geez why do we do this” post, and not a “what kind of monster are you?” sort of thing.
Stream of Consciousness Saturday is hosted by Linda G. Hill. Today’s prompt was “information.” Feel free to click the link and join us! (and now the link is actually there…)