The monster will get you.

We went to St Annes today for a trip to the seaside as the weather was so beautiful. It's a lovely beach, clean with a pier and donkey rides. We didn't actually see the sea. The tide was out and although we started walking to where the sea was, after ten minutes we weren't even close so we didn't get there and had to make do with paddling in sandy puddles!

As we were leaving, we had to climb up some steps and, as there were two children sitting on the steps, I waited with the pram. The children were both under two and their Mum came over to move them for me. After she had shifted them slightly to the left, she said to the eldest (about 2), 'don't you dare go up the steps. There is a monster at the top of the steps and if you go up there it will kill you'.

About ten minutes later, my son tried to run off in the car park. I told him that he couldn't run in the car park because he might get squashed by a car and I didn't want him to get squashed.

It got me thinking about how we control our children with fear. Obviously these are different types of fear. I was trying to stop my son running in the car park by telling him something which could happen, and something that I didn't want to happen. The other Mum was controlling her son with an irrational fear of monsters being at the top of the steps. I have a friend who gets her daughter to stay put by saying 'the man will get you if you don't' to her. Having never previously deployed such the make-believe fear tactics, I guess I can't really comment. 

I think though, that I'd rather tell my son the truth about why he should or shouldn't do things.