Paranoid about my children's safety......how to change?

(18 Posts)
lottieandmia Wed 23-Apr-14 22:00:06

I have realised that my approach to risk management wrt my children is not normal. I am worried that I am going to hinder their independence and make them anxious too.

For example, if I take my 5 year old to a party or a play area, I begin to panic if I can't see her for a few seconds. A few weeks ago she was at a party and at the end, my friend and I realised we couldn't see our two girls. My friend wasn't too worried but I was running around like a maniac. The two of them were in the loo together and my friend said 'oh I wasn't worried, I knew they must've been here somewhere' and it made me realise I must have looked like a loon.

I feel as though I should let my 10 year old walk to school by herself but I just can't.

Every time I read about a child abduction I start to over worry again. I recently read something about the Beaumont children in Australia and I just cannot imagine how their parents have coped with losing all their three children.

I know this is not a healthy way to behave though. Am I the only one like this??

girliefriend Wed 23-Apr-14 22:05:02

You do sound a little overly anxious!

I think you just have to find ways to manage and contain your anxiety. I know exactly how you feel though, my dd is 8yo and I have just started letting her ride her bike in a very small contained cul de sac. I don't want her to grow up thinking the world is a bad and dangerous place.

ThreeLannistersOneTargaryen Wed 23-Apr-14 22:05:45

If you read the statistics about relative risk, there are two risks to under 16s that stand out:
Traffic accidents.
Accidents in the home.

You can do something to reduce both of these risks:
Seatbelts, road safety training etc.
Home safety, using knives safely, smoke alarms etc.

The risk of abduction is negligible in comparison to either of these.

Do you suffer from anxiety generally?

Bowlersarm Wed 23-Apr-14 22:06:20

To a certain extent, and it doesn't always get easier. My 18 year old has just passed his driving test......gulp!

Redmasseyinmydrive Wed 23-Apr-14 22:06:27

I could have written your post OP, watching with interest.

lottieandmia Wed 23-Apr-14 22:07:42

Yes I do suffer from anxiety generally. My mum was quite anxious with me but from the age of 11 I would walk home from school by myself and let myself into the house while my parents worked so my mum can't have been as bad as me.

ThreeLannistersOneTargaryen Wed 23-Apr-14 22:14:12

I would start slowly. You don't have to suddenly let her walk all the way home from school by herself. Meet her at the edge of the playground for a couple of weeks, then the end of the road, then half way home.

It's hard at first. The first time DS2 (who has ASD) went off to secondary school by himself, I was having kittens until he got home eight hours later. But each step gets a little easier after the first time you've done it.

girliefriend Wed 23-Apr-14 22:17:44

Do you work? Have much time a way from the children?

I have had bad anxiety in the past but really don't want to pass it on to my dd, if I feel anxious I try to contain it and think rationally. Easier said than done I know!!

PrincessBabyCat Wed 23-Apr-14 23:06:46

My rule growing up is that I always had to go somewhere with a sibling or a friend. That way if something happened the other could run and get help.

Swex Thu 24-Apr-14 03:09:30

This so could be me! And not, not really an anxious person in other areas of my life. I too watch with interest. Sorry I can't help otherwise

MexicanSpringtime Thu 24-Apr-14 03:23:19

Such a lot of responsability being a parent. Teach your children to be safe as much as possible without filling them with fear. They should know your phone number and their address in case they get lost. Should not go over to people who talk to them from a parked car or take sweets from strangers, of course.

Avoid getting too much information about abductions or suchlike. Poor Beaumont children but they were actually on the other side of the world, only the UK media would scan the world for horrible disasters to report in detail as news.

MiaowTheCat Thu 24-Apr-14 07:27:35

I worry if I can't see both of mine at soft plays and the like - I try to panic discreetly but if I don't know the general area they'll be in I do feel it start to rise. I've got a diagnosed anxiety disorder though so just assumed it was that and try to keep it hidden so the kids don't pick up on it.

Like someone said - the real risks are getting run over and hurting themselves in the house - I try to rationalise that as best as possible.

Buchanon08 Sun 27-Apr-14 22:47:28

How old are your children? I get overly anxious for a few months after they're born but it seems to get better so I imagine it's hormonal, a bit like PND. Maybe consider seeing your GP if it's getting too much....hth

lottieandmia Mon 28-Apr-14 09:43:56

They're 12, 10 and 5. The oldest one is quite severely disabled so I think it could be to do with the fact that she doesn't have the ability to be independent at all - if I let go of her hand I could lose her and she wouldn't be able to explain anything about herself.

lottie I'm so glad you asked this question. I'll be watching with interest.

My DH has always been rather anxious when it comes to our DC and it has rubbed off on me. We spoke recently about losening the leash a little to encourage independence. He's been fine with this but I've not adjusted at all. On holiday our 4 year old wandered off twice on his watch. Was thankfully found very quickly by the staff but it was terrifying. DH also left 7 year old playing in a desperate play area for over half an hour while queuing for a ride with DS, I had palipitations when he told me about it.

It's so hard to know what the right thing to do is I do think we have been too clingy in the past and Even though I initiated the change I am struggling with what our boundaries should be

The explanation you have given for why you feel this anxiety makes perfect sense btw. It must be incredibly difficult to have to actively treat your DC differently rather than having a blanket approach to them all collectively

lottieandmia Mon 28-Apr-14 13:45:43

Yes, my friends dd, who is also 12 is at a point where she can go to the park by herself, meet her friends there and then walk home again. She also walks to school by herself as most 12 year olds around here do.

I feel that I have to see my children actually go into school otherwise I worry for the rest of the day. The rational part of me knows that this is ridiculous. I think if I don't find a way to change and control this, my children won't grow up to be very independent or trust in themselves.

OnaPromise Mon 28-Apr-14 13:58:06

But also if you beat yourself up about it, you'll just make yourself feel worse and probably more anxious! Be gentle with yourself and start slowly like others have said.

I have these tendencies as well but i have a friend who is more overly protective but she has not produced an anxious dd. If anything it seems to have encouraged a rebellious streak.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now