We visited some relatives and while we were there, an older cousin showed our oldest a video of a bear screaming in a video game. We don’t know if he did it on purpose (thinking it would be funny) or on accident (didn’t realize it would freak out a four year old). Either way, it scared him so badly that he ran into my partner’s arms, tears streaming down his face.
He wanted to get away from the cousin, so he asked my partner to put him on the top bunk bed in the kid’s room. He wouldn’t come down for a long while. When he did, he told us how afraid he was and how he wanted the cousin to apologize.
It’s been a few days since the incident and he’s still talking about scary bears. He’s had nightmares. He mentions scary bears each time he sees a bear.
As kids, both my partner and I had older people scare us. It affected us for years afterwards (ask my partner about how afraid of the dark I was in my MID-twenties) and I had hoped to spare my kids this pain. *sigh*
Now that it’s happened, I’m not sure what to do.