Child safety is one of the main priorities of parents. In a world rattled by terrorist attacks, by outbreaks triggered by viruses that have the ability to genetically alter themselves or media campaigns against adult abuse of children, your fear seems justified.
However, the border between normal and pathogenic is a very small one. The key question is when should you stop, in order not to turn you from a thoughtful parent into a paranoid one.
Trap of terror in which parents fall
Not long ago, children were playing outside and walking or busing to school. Now, most likely we will find them in the house, playing on the computer or in a car that transports them to the place of an organized activity. Today's parents have a terrible fear when it comes to granting the freedom that every child needs to develop harmoniously. What can we do to gain more trust in children and the world around us?
Today's children live in a much safer world than their parents grew up with. Infant mortality has reached the lowest level in recent decades. However, Romania continues to have the highest infant mortality rate in the European Union, according to the latest international statistics. Is this the reason why parents so easily panic when it comes to children? The answer is not at all simple. A great influence on the attitude of parents towards children is the online media and social networks.
Social experiments such as Joey Salads' farce, which wanted to show how easy it is for a stranger to lure children out of the park with the help of a puppy, have driven the public crazy: over 10 million views in 6 months. We are no longer surprised that we feel obliged, more than ever, to protect our children and to take additional safety measures.
Monitoring starts from the belly button
As a woman, as soon as you find out that you are pregnant, you feel a debt to find out if the baby you are wearing is healthy. So far, nothing is wrong. Blood tests, ultrasounds and prenatal screening are even recommended. Monitoring with devices during labor and after birth is part of the medical protocol. What is not recommended is to stress yourself only at the thought that something bad can happen, without a plausible medical reason, other than your own anxiety!
Hypervigilant parents do not let their children go to school alone. In the park, I am always with my eyes on them, beside them. If you sit on the bench and watch it from a distance, you risk being considered by other mothers as irresponsible. It is normal for parents to worry as long as they do not become hyper-protective and pass on their own fears to their children. The logic is simple: the more you fear, the more you tend to protect your child more. And the more you protect, the more you think you have to fear.
The media bombards parents with messages about world insecurity. When the TV news frightens you, you receive alerts on the phone and messages on facebook about another dangerous pedophile or terrorist attack. Therefore, you keep your children in the house when you cannot control them. However, experts draw attention to the fact that a child must be allowed to interact with the environment, in order to be able to take risks, gain self-confidence and feel adventure.
There are many things you can offer your children, spending time with them, but the only thing you cannot give is independence. For them to have complete psychological control over their own achievements, they must be far from parents. Your task is to retreat, open his door and let him walk into the world.
The loop effect
Today's parents seem to suffer from a form of contagious anxiety. Their collective fear has gone viral, infecting not only adults but our children deeply. Above all, children are monitored with smart GPS watches. The problem is that when you behave as if the safety of your children is always threatened, the little ones may start to believe that they are in danger every time you are not around them.
The barriers we raise around children can do more harm than good. They prevent children from experimenting and developing their ability to take care of themselves. In addition, if you are always nervous, children will find it difficult to show courage in trusting their own strengths. Many parents complain that little ones no longer know how to invent their own games. The reason? The culture of the child has been lost.
The world invented by the little ones, with secret places known only to them, is on the verge of extinction.
Confront your own fear if you want to defeat it!
It is incredibly healthy for children to use toys and materials in ways that may seem dangerous to their parents. Their problem is not that they worry, but that they leave the prey to prejudice. Children are happy when they play in nature, when they go to summer camps or when exploring with new friends.
Specialists in child psychology recommend that parents have more confidence in the ability of children to deal with themselves. If you live further from the school, gradually get used to it by yourself. Take him close to the school and increase the distance as the child becomes comfortable with the idea of going alone. Let him alone in the parking lot in front of the block. Give him the opportunity to enjoy his freedom and his own decisions and choices. For you, as a parent, the biggest challenge you can face is to ignore the mouth of the world, those scary voices that will remind you that you are a liar who does not keep your eyes on the child non-stop.
Next time when he stumbles and falls, let him stand up alone, if he doesn't start crying because he got seriously injured. You teach him to mobilize and take courage in his own strengths. Later, when life puts him on the ground, in the figurative way, he will remember that it is up to him to rise, he will gather his strengths and take it over again.
Tags Child fears Child safety Child independence