Do you know that you pass on your insecurities, dislikes and fears to your children? Horses and ponies are not cute and should be feared so I am passing on my equinophobia to my two children
Children are like sponges, they absorb information and pick up on small subtleties daily. They also inherit their parent’s insecurities, fears and dislikes just by observing our reactions.
While I am successfully hiding my dislike of green vegetables (so far), my children rarely get served tomatoes or lamb or couscous; because I simply despise their taste. This deprivation will most likely mean that my kids will not eat these foods. I was 20 -years-old when I first tasted salmon, simply because it was never served in my home, I just assumed it was horrible and I hated it.
My mind becomes frazzled when I see numbers, ever since I was a child I have had a problem with math. While I’m okay with money (I am from Cavan); any small math equation can send me into a tizzy. To counteract this with the kids we use numbers daily, counting and reciting numbers to make them familiar and to hopefully avoid the “I’m no good at maths” statement in years to come.
I have also been proactively trying to not pass on my fear of needles, by pushing on all child vaccination duties to my husband - clever eh?!
But when the four-year-old randomly asked if she could get a pony, I thought it was high time she understood that not only would she never own a pony, she will also never ride a pony or even really touch one in my company.
Hi my name is Fiona and I have a fear of horses - it is not irrational, in fact my fear is very rational.
My fear started after I fell off a horse as a child, not only did the horse throw me off, but the demon then circled back to run over me, luckily no organs got damaged but I was bruised (with a hoof mark) for months - how could I ever trust a horse or indeed its close relative the pony ever again?
I did try years later to try and make peace with ponies because they are small, when I took on the care of my parent's Shetlands for a weekend. But the brats kicked and bit me and re-confirmed my understanding that all horse like creatures are evil - even zebras!
So instead of outlining to my four-year-old chancer that we don’t have room for a pony, we have no equine experience to look after a pony or really the spare change to buy a pony, I laid it out pretty straight to her: horses are evil, they can hurt and kill you and you should always keep a very safe distance away from them.
Of course this news did alarm her and she followed up with a number of reasonable questions, such as how come her grandparents have ponies, what about that girl at playschool who can ride a horse, are My Little Pony toys also dangerous and does this evil streak include unicorns?
My rational argument is horses can weigh up to a thousand pounds, they are big, awkward and irrational. Horses are very emotional and quite flighty which is not good when you have the capacity of killing with just a kick of a hoof. They also bite. Horses have killed a lot of people and frequently trample on people, even their beloved riders. They do all this despite their amazing magnified vision ... which means they do it on purpose.
Have you ever seen a horse stand up on it’s back legs or gallop at speed? My fear is rational and maybe even instinctive. So while I would like to see my children eat their green stinky vegetables and not faint while getting an injection, and maybe become math professors, I also want them to inherit my fear of horses - for their own safety.