I'd like to address this post to all the parents of young children at Church:
On our way home from the Ward Labor Day Picnic yesterday, my 12 year old daughter Stef told us of a most disturbing conversation she overheard while sitting on a bench close to the fishing pond. It was a gruesome topic being discussed amongst 4 girls aged 7-8, who treated it as though it were nothing more than a sunshine happy piece of fluff--like something akin to talking about the newest Littlest Pet Shop character to hit the market.
I'm referring to The Choking Game which provides oxygen-deprivation "thrills" which so often has turned unexpectedly deadly and tragic.
Stef said that one of the girls turned to her friend and giggled while saying, "I'll tie you to the tree and choke you with a rope first. It'll be fun!"
The conversation continued on about playing choking games until a freaked-out Stef strolled a little closer towards them and they skittered away on their bikes and scooters.
I'm not exaggerating when I say that I am totally and completely shocked and horrified at this. My stomach kept turning flip-flops when Stef told us what happened........mostly because I don't know what to do with the information I have. At this age, could they even understand the ramifications of such a thing? Chances are they heard about The Choking Game from someone at school or an older sibling, but in their innocence they didn't quite grasp the meaning of it all.
Papi thinks we should drop it and that it's the parent's responsibility to figure out what disturbing things their kids are up to. I'm not so sure. Personally, I'd like to be kept apprised of things my minor children are doing while out of my line of vision.
The Bishopric addressed The Choking Game issue not too long ago, but it was aimed towards the Young Men and Young Women program. I'm positive that the majority of Ward parents would never expect this kind of dialogue from the lower elementary set.
Just know that if this is springing up here, amidst a group of relatively wholesome families, then it can strike anywhere. I may have to pull out my old standby emergency anonymous e-mail and let the Ward leaders know that this is going on.