[Note: I also describe this incident at the end of this video.]
Back in 1966, when I was four years old, a seven year old named Freddie took me into the woods. My mother had just started permitting me out of my yard without her if I was accompanied by a neighborhood kid older than me. He walked me into a deep dirt pit, had me (somehow) take off all my clothes, and then he climbed out and up an adjoining tree with my clothes. He stared down at me for over an hour.Eventually, a neighborhood posse fanned out and a seven year old girl found me naked in the pit.
The next day, Freddie was grounded and I was outside playing again with a big lesson learned, more street smart than before. The other neighborhood kids watched over me more, so my bonds with them increased.
I’m soooo glad I didn’t have one of today’s Palo Alto parents back then. Instead of being imprisoned in my house or shuttled around in a furlough program to various activities, I was able to enjoy my neighborhood even more than before.
Seriously. Not all negative experiences are bad for a kid.