When a young toddler goes wondering off, exploring their world, and goes to near a road or a cliff, parents may respond in a multitude of ways. Anxiety fear-filled parents may respond, as I saw today, with a smack, and both parents then pouring out onto the already bawling child, a torrent of fear inspired anger:
"You naughty girl"
"You would have fallen off the cliffs and being killed"
"Why'd you do that? Why'd you do that hey"
"We're going straight home"
"You never do that agin. You could have died."
And in this way, perhaps, we die a thousand deaths to become the semi-dead adult so many of us are. As a footnote to this episode, the road was empty, no cars in sight, and the child some 15-25 metres from the cliffs, with dense foliage separating her and the cliffs. Admittedly, when you are paniced you don't notice such things. But I've seen this scene play itself out before, with many slight variations, with family and with strangers.
So then, what kind of differing responses do children lucky enough to be nurtured into the fullness of their being get?