Fear cam be in several form, the first one is Avoid any accident
Don’t run! Don’t touch that pan! Don’t play with that dirty thing! Be carefull! — Have you ever count how many times do you say those statement to your child? Suddenly, a mom has turn to be a security officer, constantly in alert condition and must have an eagle eye to look for any danger that come near. Sometime we are so paranoid with the small things.
It is a default reflect for a mom or dad to protect her/his kid by avoiding problems. However, according to brain study, what the parent do is actually prevent a learning to happen. Tony Buzan explain in his book Child Brain, that a child is learning by Trial, Event, Feedback, Check, Adjust, Check (TEFCAS). When you tell your child not to run, he actually do not learn that running might be danger. Until he felt the hurt of bruise, he actually did not learn the true consequence of running, except your scream. Maybe that’s why we often say “How many times do I have to told you not to…”, “Dont you ever learn that…. Is danger?”
Is that mean that we just let our child gone thru all the pain that we surely can helped them not to have one? I think we must define what danger is. The limit may differ between one parent to another. For me, the guideline is only to avoid lifethreatening act like running to the street, or the one that cannot reversible, such as broken bones,etc.
My big boy is an energetic, horsepower kid that never stop moving until he sleep. Although I’ve tried to use positive statement such as “walking please”, “stand still”, he seems to keep running and jumping around. He bumped his head many times before the age of 3 that leave the bump permanently on his forehead. At the age of 4,5 he broke his right arm, after jumping from pick up in front our house. He had to had 2 surgeries to fix his arm and now he is left-handed. I’m not sure if he was truly left-handed or not.
People might think I’m not good mom because I let my kids feel the consequence of their act, rather tell him what not to do. I do warn him, but somehow he has strong urge to do it anyway. So, if it was not danger that could threat his life or caused a lifetime disability, I save my energy to the time he came with bruise. I will empathy with his pain, gave him treatment, after he calm down, I will explain what just happened.
But I was not a brave mom too. I can’t leave him alone, even at home. A babysitter will accompany him all the time if I was not beside him. I’m not sure that is a good thing or not, because now Fab will be afraid to be left alone, even for a short bathtime. He is 6 years old now and I just made him dependable to other. I think, I’m not alone. I saw several families that have one babysitter for each child, so if there are 3 children, it will be 3 babysitters. The child was like a star that has bodyguard who follow him everywhere.
Lenore Skenazy, the writer of Free range kids, said that our child can not have the same childhood as we were. Parents have gone too far and become over-parenting. Despite of the declining number of kid violance, parent did not allow their child go alone even to the park next door. Kidnapping, murder has become the first thing that pop up in parents mind, that made them lock children in the house like a prisoner. Playing time has changed to TV time or other digital game, which in turn not safe as well.
Fear, worry, anxiety has turn us to be over protective. Parent make all the decision for his/her child for the sake of safety. In long term, it will make child incapable of decision making in their life.
I am now trying to define what I should help and not. And it is not an easy thing to do. I used to be an analyst and project manager. My job is to make sure everything went well and failure is never acceptable.