worry about this, not that — The Bump
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worry about this, not that

interesting story on NPR today:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2010/08/30/129531631/5-worries-parents-should-drop-and-5-they-should?sc=fb&cc=fp

5 Worries Parents Should Drop, And 5 They Shouldn't

Shoomp shoomp shoomp. Hear that?

That?s the sound of helicopter parents hovering over their children, worrying every second of the day that terrorists could strike Johnny's school or a stranger will snatch Jane from the bus stop.

Scary stuff. But it turns out most parents are worrying about all the wrong things.

"These worries that we have are so rare," says Christie Barnes, mother of four and author of The Paranoid Parents Guide. "It?s like packing a snow shovel in case it snows in Las Vegas."


Based on surveys that Barnes collected, the top five worries that parents are, in order:

  1. Kidnapping
  2. School snipers
  3. Terrorists
  4. Dangerous strangers
  5. Drugs

But how do children really get hurt or killed?

  1. Car accidents
  2. Homicide (usually committed by a person who knows the child, not a stranger)
  3. Abuse
  4. Suicide
  5. Drowning

Why such a big discrepancy between worries and reality? Barnes says parents fixate on rare events because they internalize horrific stories they hear on the news or from a friend without stopping to think about the odds the same thing could happen to their children.

"I?d love it if every news story came with a little warning at the bottom that said, 'Even though this is very tragic, this is 1 in 10 million, 1 in a million or 1 in 20', " says Barnes.

This unnecessary worrying, she argues, is detrimental to parents. The stress worry-wracked parents endure can harm their health and their relationships with other adults. Also, focusing on rare dangers distracts parents from the dangers that matter.

As for children, Barnes says that overprotectiveness will hurt them in the long run by making them less resilient. "We?re teaching them to be helpless," she says. "And because we?re so afraid of the world, we?re teaching them to be afraid of the world."

So, what?s a worried parent to do? Barnes has a simple prescription: helmets and seatbelts. Yup, that?s right, helmets and seatbelts. "I know it sounds boring," she says, but according to her research, making kids wear protective gear and buckle up in the car cuts kids' chances of death by 90 percent and their chances of serious injury by 78 percent.

"We think worry means that we love our kids," Barnes says. "So we?re kind of fooling ourselves to think that all this research and all this worry we?re doing is actually love? because it isn?t."

 

 

Re: worry about this, not that

  • Funny, I don't worry about much on the ones they say parents should not worry about.  Perhaps DD is too young.  Although I can't imagine ever worrying about school snipers or terrorists. 

    I do really worry about abuse.  Both the bullying kind and the sexual predator kind.  Perhaps beacuase I know quite a few people who were abused so it is more personal.  To me it is so scary how common sexual, physical and verbal abuse is.

  • Good article...

    This quote doesn't quite make sense to me, though:

    "So, what?s a worried parent to do? Barnes has a simple prescription: helmets and seatbelts. Yup, that?s right, helmets and seatbelts. "I know it sounds boring," she says, but according to her research, making kids wear protective gear and buckle up in the car cuts kids' chances of death by 90 percent and their chances of serious injury by 78 percent."

    One of her simple prescriptions is helmets - but bike accidents weren't in the top 5 things to worry about.  And, a lot of young kids already have to be in carseats/boosters.  I'm curious about some of the statistics, and how they play into the conclusions of the article...

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  • Great reminder. I took a class in grad school on accidents and injuries, so I do tend to stress out about driving DS.
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  • image crazyDCbride:

    Good article...

    This quote doesn't quite make sense to me, though:

    "So, what?s a worried parent to do? Barnes has a simple prescription: helmets and seatbelts. Yup, that?s right, helmets and seatbelts. "I know it sounds boring," she says, but according to her research, making kids wear protective gear and buckle up in the car cuts kids' chances of death by 90 percent and their chances of serious injury by 78 percent."

    One of her simple prescriptions is helmets - but bike accidents weren't in the top 5 things to worry about.  And, a lot of young kids already have to be in carseats/boosters.  I'm curious about some of the statistics, and how they play into the conclusions of the article...

    I didn't catch that! maybe she is saying we should have our children wear helmets in the car. lol...that would really make road trips fun Stick out tongue

  • image crazyDCbride:

    Good article...

    This quote doesn't quite make sense to me, though:

    "So, what?s a worried parent to do? Barnes has a simple prescription: helmets and seatbelts. Yup, that?s right, helmets and seatbelts. "I know it sounds boring," she says, but according to her research, making kids wear protective gear and buckle up in the car cuts kids' chances of death by 90 percent and their chances of serious injury by 78 percent."

    One of her simple prescriptions is helmets - but bike accidents weren't in the top 5 things to worry about.  And, a lot of young kids already have to be in carseats/boosters.  I'm curious about some of the statistics, and how they play into the conclusions of the article...

    Perhaps she's including accidents where cars hit bikes under "car accidents"?  And, while kids are supposed to be in carseats/boosters, I'm not certain that all of them are installed or used correctly...or used at all.  I've definitely been on road trips and seen little kids climbing all over back seats.

     

  • Interesting.

    I worry about it all.  :-/

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  • image HikerBride07:

    Interesting.

    I worry about it all.  :-/

    Ditto this.
  • image Mrs.Ram:
    image HikerBride07:

    Interesting.

    I worry about it all.  :-/

    Ditto this.

    I worry about it all too. I'd also say that it always surprises me how many people do not use carseats/boosters. I teach at an elementary school and the people who man the "kiss and ride" area generally call the police to sit at the exit 3 or 4 times a year because so many parents are not properly securing their child in the car.

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