Terrorism scares the kiddies (The Glass House 4/10/06)

A new study of six to twelve year olds has found that their top fears now include bombs and terrorists, which wasn’t the case 20 years ago. Probably the same with adults come to think of it.

Even in a world of terrorists and warfare though, kids are still most scared of being hit by a car. C’mon Johnny: where’s our “War on Traffic”? Think of the children!

Kids are most frightened of terrorists. (sniff) They grow up so fast these days…

Some kids have been scared of terrorism ever since the anti-terror fridge magnets got mixed up with the alphabet ones…

Gone from the list is the fear of catching germs; now it’s a fear of germ warfare.

Fears of earthquakes, falling and going to school have fallen out of the Top Ten children’s fears. So we should be thankful to the terrorists – at least it’s making kids keener to go to school.

Kids are much less frightened of being sent to the principal now. They know if they’re threatened with the strap, they’ve always got the option of blowing up the school.

Some fears from the survey of 20 years ago have totally vanished from the list: like the fear of MC Hammer / parachute pants / hypercolour / perms / Billy Ray Cyrus.

A number of fears have changed since the 1983 survey, and even more since the 1943 survey. For example, the fear of Hitler is way down now.

New fears have led to new nursery rhymes: “Iraqi Darqi sat on a wall, Iraqi Darqi had a great war, all the armed forces and all the armed men, couldn’t put Iraqi together again.”

“Ring a ring a rosie, a pocket-nuke explosy, kablowie, kablowie, we all fall down!”

“Eeny Meeny Miny Mo, catch Osama by the toe, if he blows up, let him go, eeny meeny allah ahkbar.”

Kids are scared of terror, but what are they gunna do about it? “Umm-arr! I’m dobbing on you, Osama!”

“Miss, Timmy blew himself up! Give him detention!”

The children are scared of terrorists, especially since they’ve been explicitly targeted by Al Qaeda’s crack squad of Terror Tots.

However, children have the same level of overall fear as 20 years ago: it’s just that now instead of being afraid of the Bogeyman, they’re afraid of Michael Jackson.

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