Thanks to Lenore Skenazy for her poignant blog post/article in response to the near-incomprehensible Lieby Kletzky tragedy.
The fact is that we DO decide in a most irrational fashion what fears to pay attention to. Sure, the media helps a lot! And then we obsess, often to the point of unintended and unwanted consequences.
The day after they found Lieby’s body in New York City, our site had a field trip planned; we were taking a small group of 24 five-and-six-year-olds to the Zoo.
24 children with 7 adults.
Two families pulled out of the trip- too dangerous, they said (“…you heard about that kid in New York, didn’t you?”).
I understand the parental pull to protect your kids. I’m a parent, too. I get it.
As a care provider, I’m also always humbled by the trust the parents place in us every day we take care of their kids. I always strive to keep that trusting bond at the fore of my thoughts (and remind the other staff to be aware as well) as we move through our daily activities.
And, at the same time, I really get it. I get how freaking irrational our fears can be when driven by sensationalism. In many ways, we are still the 5-year-old kid worried about the monster from the movie that we’re sure is lurking there under our bed.