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Old 03-13-2009, 08:01 AM
 
786 posts, read 3,517,681 times
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My dd comes home from school yesterday saying she is scared. As part of learning the history of our town, the teacher told some ghost legends. The legend itself was pretty harmless and silly (to me anyway, but not really to my dd), but then it got the kids talking about ghosts and scaring each other. Sooooo, dd can't take a shower last night because she is scared, can't go to sleep, etc.

How to handle? I sent a polite e-mail to the teacher explaining what happened not blaming anyone, asking if she could reitereate to the kids that these are just stories.

I don't think it was appropriate in the first place, am I wrong?
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:08 AM
 
Location: Montrose, CA
3,031 posts, read 8,050,018 times
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Tell your kid that ghosts aren't real, any more than the stories of Jack and the Beanstalk or Little Red Riding Hood or Hansel & Gretel. Impress upon her that ghost stories are for fun and aren't to be taken seriously.

Talk about it, and ask her if she's scared of the giant from the beanstalk story, or if she really things witches live in gingerbread houses in the woods, or if she thinks a wolf can talk and pretend to be her grandma. When she says no, then just say "it's the same with ghosts - they're just interesting parts of stories".
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:35 AM
 
Location: mass
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I feel for you, really I do.

My son was about 4 when my mother read him a Halloween book about a witch, who happened to have a crooked, warty finger. That night he happened to develop a high fever and was sick. He had nightmares about the finger of the witch and from then on was terrified of witches and would not go to bed.

It was pretty bad for about a year. We had to give him a squirt gun (we all know that witches melt when wet ;-) ), make posters of witches getting squirted with water and melting as a warning to any witch that might come into the room, etc. etc. etc. He was a little younger so telling him there were no such thing wasn't working for us.

I was sooooooooooooooooooo glad when we got past that stage.

With a second grader, I don't know. You did the right thing by letting the teacher know what was going on and asking her to spend a little more time explaining that they weren't true stories.

Was she wrong about telling the stories? I am not sure. My son is in second grade, and he knows that there are no such things as ghosts, but really, if we expect our kids to believe a fat man comes down the chimney with presents and carts enough toys for the children of the world in that one little sleigh, then it is not far fetched that a child might really believe ghosts exist and be scared.

Maybe if you redirect her attention to some good things that people *think* ghosts and spirits do that might help her. That is what I might try to do.

Or learn about those historical events in your town that the teacher discussed, and give her logical explanations for what might have happened.

I think its a tough call on whether or not the teacher should have taught it. I might talk with her and ask her what the learning objective was, has she taught this to all her second grade classes, has any child ever reacted like your daughter, etc....

To me I think teaching history involving supposed ghosts at that age just isn't necessary for their learning. What's the point?
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:38 AM
 
Location: Montrose, CA
3,031 posts, read 8,050,018 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytotwo View Post
To me I think teaching history involving supposed ghosts at that age just isn't necessary for their learning. What's the point?
Entertainment. Imagination. History.
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:40 AM
 
6,226 posts, read 6,851,592 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuSuSushi View Post
Tell your kid that ghosts aren't real, any more than the stories of Jack and the Beanstalk or Little Red Riding Hood or Hansel & Gretel. Impress upon her that ghost stories are for fun and aren't to be taken seriously.

Talk about it, and ask her if she's scared of the giant from the beanstalk story, or if she really things witches live in gingerbread houses in the woods, or if she thinks a wolf can talk and pretend to be her grandma. When she says no, then just say "it's the same with ghosts - they're just interesting parts of stories".
I agree 100%. However, I would tell her about that monster under her bed.
Just kidding. The op brought back memories for me because I used to put in a little scare on my 3 younger sisters 40 years ago and they still haven't forgot!
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Old 03-13-2009, 08:44 AM
 
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As an update, I just heard back from the teacher (whom I really like by the way). They discussed in class today how the stories were not real and then some of the kids told her how they had made up their stories that they talked about to scare each other. Although her dad and I discussed this at length with her last night, I do think it will help that they reiterated it in class today. Hopefully this will help.
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Old 03-13-2009, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Oregon
1,532 posts, read 2,345,796 times
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I'm glad that all worked out! My daughter goes over to her cousins house and they all talk about scary stuff. Then she comes home and won't go to sleep and drives me crazy all night!

I have a weird one - - - My dd's teacher (4th grade, man teacher) was talking about the Milky Way, and he proceeded to tell his class that the Milky Way got it's name because someone thought it looked like milk spread over breasts!!! I have heard that it looked like milk across the sky, but not breasts! Other kids also said that he said this. My dd told me about this and said that most of the kids giggled when he said this, and he got upset with them! What the heck do you expect, saying this to 4th graders!!! I really don't think they are making it up, because I don't think she would have put all the detail into it, you know, that they giggled and he got mad. I think the poor man is losing it! Kinda scary!
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:05 PM
 
Location: mass
2,905 posts, read 6,580,027 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuSuSushi View Post
Entertainment. Imagination. History.
ok, i'll give you that, but really, 2nd grade? I guess so, though there are other ways to accomplish those three goals. When I think ghost stories, I think of summer camp.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dsh1127 View Post
I'm glad that all worked out! My daughter goes over to her cousins house and they all talk about scary stuff. Then she comes home and won't go to sleep and drives me crazy all night!

I have a weird one - - - My dd's teacher (4th grade, man teacher) was talking about the Milky Way, and he proceeded to tell his class that the Milky Way got it's name because someone thought it looked like milk spread over breasts!!! I have heard that it looked like milk across the sky, but not breasts! Other kids also said that he said this. My dd told me about this and said that most of the kids giggled when he said this, and he got upset with them! What the heck do you expect, saying this to 4th graders!!! I really don't think they are making it up, because I don't think she would have put all the detail into it, you know, that they giggled and he got mad. I think the poor man is losing it! Kinda scary!
Lol, milk across the breasts. that is pretty funny. What on earth was he thinking?!
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:35 PM
 
1,425 posts, read 3,658,351 times
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In our town there is a "haunted" field trip for 3rd gradres. It is in October. The go to the historic sites and a few graveyards. To this day when we are coming back from the rec center one of them is going to mention the ghost from the old colonial inn.

When I was 7ish, I had my greatest fear. I learned, while lokking through an encyclopedia, that the core of the earth is molten rock. I had the witch that lived under my bed, but nothing scared me more than the realization that the center of the earth wasn't solid.... the reason I was so afraid is that I was developmentally ready to understand that there are things in my world that people cannot control. That is what your child may actually be afraid of.... She may realize now that there are things she (and her parents) cannot control and this scares her. My advice, give her the tools to feel safe withn herself. The watergun example is a good one.... it gives the child a "weapon" to fight with. Get her a timed flashlight (one that goes off after a certain amount of time) to keep in bed with her. Sit on the toilet while she is in the shower (be careful not to help any more than normal.... we all know kids can regress if the think their momma will do it for them).

This could actually be a mental growth spurt. Over the next couple weeks, you'll probably see her compehension rise too.
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Rocket City, U.S.A.
1,806 posts, read 5,111,153 times
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I don't even know how to approach this because I grew up in the Hudson Valley with Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle and Indian Spirits...

Ghosts, real or imagined, were just another facet of the landscape.

I've already started to explain this sort of stuff to my daughter (5) so she doesn't get unnerved, but I have a family member who forbid her teenage daughters from watching ANYTHING "scary" for fear of nightmares. Not that the girls had them, but that the mother did, so in her mind...

The BREAST thing...I am appalled that we have come to a place in time where the traditional use of the word is shameful..."breast" should not be titillating - it wasn't when I was a child because I had access to classic literature...so I can actually see why he was perturbed. He was witness to a failure in proper education. Parents will probably complain. So much for enlightenment.

Then again, I've never heard this rendition of the Milky Way, either. Those silly Greeks.

Time to GOOGLE.
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