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What is your biggest fear for your children’s safety? Does it keep you up at night or creep up on you when you’re relaxing? Does it make it hard to enjoy life sometimes?
I have a few. Some I don’t even want to write down here because it makes it seem more real, more possible as a threat. How do we cope with that worry?
Worrying is kind of part of the job description for parents. With all the warnings we receive about keeping our kids safe, it can be easy to be overwhelmed with all the could happen. We’re ditching fear and choosing to confidently inform and equip ourselves instead. Because our children can be in danger even when they are literally tied onto our bodies. Babywearing safety is a thing, and for good reason (check here to see if you are making these common babywearing mistakes).
For the month of September, #TLBsafeKids is a campaign (read about it here) with clek car seats, California Baby skin care, Newton crib mattresses, Catbird Baby Carriers, Crane USA humidifiers, and Rhoost home safety, to support parents in learning and implementing safety practices that don’t bog us down in worry but give us the tools to feel confident even as we’re aware of the risks around our families.
I don’t have all the answers but I have learned a few things about keeping children safe and not being controlled by worry. They aren’t feel good tips, in fact, they’re rather unsettling but if you can embrace them if can be incredibly freeing. My top 3 tips for protecting our children without stifling and crippling them or ourselves:
Recognize that you can’t protect them from all danger. If you think you can, you’re more likely to miss danger when it sneaks up on you. Accepting that they will be hurt, they will experience scary situations lets you put your energy into recognizing which ones pose the biggest threat and equipping them to recognize that as well. Instead of trying to eliminate all risk (which will greatly increase the risk that your children will resent you some day), aim to reduce real risk and learning how to manage lower risks concerns.
Inform yourself and be open to being educated by others. If you can’t receive safety advice or warnings from others without getting offended, you’re going to end up out of touch and out of date on the most current recommendations. That will increase your risk of making a potentially dangerous mistake. We should always be learning and just because you’ve always done it one way doesn’t mean you should keep doing it that way. So much of our safety concerns have increased because many of us feel less connected to community. Sharing together, looking out for each other, admitting our concerns and our mistakes, and passing along information can go a long way in protecting all of our families. Looking out for each other is safer. If you’re looking for a judgment-free support community talking about all aspects of safety, join the Facebook group #TLBsafeKids.
Learn to listen to your gut. I know, it sounds so vague, but being out of touch with ourselves and that sense when things are right or wrong can cause us to tune out when we should be tuning in. Teaching our children to listen to that sense can make a difference between them trusting the wrong person because they feel it is more important that they be nice, and coming you with their concern that something isn’t right. And a child who learns how to listen to that part of them that sometimes just knows will also be more confident in making friends and moving in society as they won’t see everyone as a potential threat.
The good news is we’re not in this alone. Though it is easy to judge other parents from a distance, if we come together to support each other, we can be that much stronger.
Here’s to growing daily and finding the confidence to be safe while living freely.
For more information on babywearing safety and more resources in parenting and living holistically, CLICK HERE