Attention Paranoid Moms: You're Worrying About All The Wrong Things


paranoid parents guide

Like any mom, I worry when it comes to my kid's safety. Choking and child molestation are my two biggest fears. Let's just say my blender has had a lot of use, and whenever my daughter coughs while eating, I dial 911 (just to be on the safe side).

And since there's no real way to tell if someone is a molester or not, I've decided that the best way to protect my daughter is to never let her leave the house. Ever.

Unless she's choking.

While I exaggerate (a little), the fact remains that those are the things that keep me awake at night.

But should they be?

According to Christie Barnes, the author of The Paranoid Parents Guide (and a mom to four), parents worry about all the wrong things. Based on surveys she did for her book, the top 5 worries of parents are:

  1. Kidnapping
  2. School snipers
  3. Terrorists
  4. Dangerous strangers (I'm going to say child molesters would fall into this category)
  5. Drugs

But guess what? Those worries aren't legitimate. Here's how kids really get hurt or killed:

  1. Car accidents
  2. Homicide 
  3. Abuse
  4. Suicide
  5. Drowning

Barnes told NPR that parents tend to fixate on the horrific stories we hear in the news. While tragic, most of those things (terrorists at schools and kidnappings) are extremely unlikely to happen to our kids. Worrying about these random events can adversely affect our health and can make our kids grow up to be scared-y cats.

So what's a neurotic parent to do? Invest in helmets and car seats (or use seatbelts). According to Barnes's research, making kids wear protective gear and buckling them up in the car, cuts their chances of death by 90 percent and their chances of serious injury by 78 percent.

And that's exactly what I'm going to tell all those moms who stare at me when my daughter shows up at nursery school with her helmet on.

What things do you worry about most when it comes to your kid's safety?


Image via The Paranoid Parents Guide



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Phils... PhilsBabyMama

I totally worry about car accidents....but the child molestation thing is way up there.  It is a very legitimate concern (and by the way, most kids are molested by people they know, not strangers.)  1 in 3 girls and 1 in 4 boys will be a victim of a sex crime.  That's a VERY REAL danger.  And yes...I'm a a paranoid parent.

Lissete Diaz

i deff worry about car accidents number 1 and drowning number 2!

Cafe... Cafe Suzanne

You're right PhilsBayMama - Molestation probably falls under abuse. I just always think of creepy strangers. Oh well, it's back to keeping her in the house -- with her helmet on!

OpalG... OpalGoddess

More children get molested than they think. I was molested by many people as a child. Never by anyone in my family though. I sat down my 20 female friends to open up with everything bad that happened in their life so far. 18 out of 20 were molested by someone at least once. They just never wanted to tell anyone when they were children, and when they did they were ignored. All 20 had tried suicide once. All of them had some sort of experience with drugs. 11 were involed in a car accident. 2 had first hand experience with homicide. 6 were abused at some point in life. 4 had lost a sibiling due to drowning plus 2 others lost a close friend due to drowning, and one had nearly died due to drowning. No one had been or knew anybody who had been kidnapped. No one even heard of anyone at all involed with a school sniper. I only had one friend who goes to prisons to interview terrorists. I was the one with the darkest past still... sad. Thankfully, I'm out of that life style, and engaged. My love keeps me safe.

xavie... xavierlogan09

i worry about molestation,drowning,kidnapping,and car accidents the most. i'm paranoid. i worry about a lot of things. right now i'm worried about sids. he is still a baby so i worry a ton. i take every precaution i can when it comes to swimming or taking a bath and car safety. it's true that most children are molested by someone they know. hence one of the reasons why i don't trust hardly anyone with my son. 

xavie... xavierlogan09

i was molested by my grandfather when i was six. so i know it can happen to anyone. especially if it's someone you know. i was abused a lot as a child. i came very close to drowning when i was nine. i've been in two car accidents. i've never tried drugs. never known anyone who was kidnapped. i've never had any close situation with terrorists. 

RanaA... RanaAurora

I worry about the right things according to her, I guess.  I'm concerned about car accidents (rightfully so), choking, SIDS, drowning, bullying/mental abuse...

School snipers?  That's a MAIN concern? I was less than an hour from Columbine and knew people involved... yet I'm not that worried. Maybe that's why people fight using their car seats right... they're too busy being scared of kids in trench coats?

nonmember avatar SKL

I worry about my kids not having normal, healthy life/learning experiences due to other people's illogical worries.

julie... juliebulie

I worry about car accidents, kidnapping, and molestation. The a few weeks after I had my baby a woman tried to kidnap a baby from that same hospital. I think kidnapping is a legitimate concern. I worry about having a car accident where we end up in the water and I can't get her out in time and she drowns. Ugh. I am very paranoid.

nonmember avatar Allboys

We are by no means paranoid parents but we do worry about a few things. Molestation by someone we know and trust. That's why we do not allow male babysitters besides their father EVER. We also watch interactions between our children and other adults closely. Bullies we worry about but we have discussed what we would do in case of a bully or if our child was ever bullying another child. Drug use is something we have discussed at length and we have asked ourselves the tough questions on if we are somehow setting out children up for low self esteem or in any way not meeting their emotional needs or overindulging them. Drowning, due to the hubbs career field it's a big concern of his because he has dealt with this. So we never leave our children in the bath alone. We are also hyper vigilant around pools and the toddlers are getting swim lessons. Other than that we have normal concerns.

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