A family from Missouri is in jail after staging a fake kidnapping of a 6 year old boy to teach him a lesson about stranger danger.
This is a new low for helicopter parenting, a recent trend of over-vigilant parents who demand extreme scrutiny of children’s activities in order to provide for their safety.
Initially, I personally felt some sympathy for this family who obviously was concerned for their child. The family stated that the child was too nice to strangers, so they wanted to teach him a lesson to protect him in the future. It seemed like the same sort of unconventional yet well-meaning tactics I laughed at in Arrested Development.
That sympathy soon faded, however, after listening to the horrifying details of this event.
Nathan Firoved helped the family stage the kidnapping, starting by luring him into a van. Police said he then told the boy that he would never “see his mommy again.” He threatened that he would be “nailed to the wall of a shed.” Firoved also showed the boy his gun.
When the boy wouldn’t stop crying, Firoved bound the boy with plastic bags and covered his face. The boy was then taken to the basement of his home where the boy’s aunt, Denise Kroutil, took off his pants telling him that he was going to be a sex slave. When the boy didn’t resist, they chastised him even further and confined him in the basement for an undetermined length of time.
This case illustrates in an extreme way the flaws of helicopter parenting. Parents are getting so obsessively concerned about issues like kidnapping and abduction, which in reality happens much less often than many other dangers kids face. Their hyper vigilant concern blinds them from other issues which happen much more. This poor kid is probably going to face serious mental health problems because of this horrific event.
All four people involved have been charged with felony kidnapping and child abuse.