Parenting can be challenging, not only because you are responsible for the life of another person (a completely insane thought on its own), but you are constantly faced with situations you never saw coming and have to find ways to adapt — fast.
My two-year-old daughter has developed a fear of the people upstairs. That isn’t code for anything — she is legitimately afraid of the people upstairs (but she’s never met them).
Every time she hears footsteps on the floor, she screams, cries and jumps up on whatever piece of furniture she can find and immediately wants me right next to her — I’m not allowed to move away.
It’s disheartening because I know she is genuinely afraid and no one likes to see their child in pain.
Recently her fear has escalated to where she doesn’t even want to be on the main floor. She used to happily play until I had to basically convince her to go to bed before the sun came up, and now asks to go to her crib early to escape the scary sounds and insists on eating dinner on the stairs.
Now I’m all for accommodating a child who is clearly terrified, but eating on the stairs is nothing less than inconvenient.
I know her fear will subside eventually — as she grows bigger, develops her cognitive skills and “experiences” life.
Fear is a natural, hard-wired emotion, which from an evolutionary point of view is why humans are still alive today. If we hadn’t known instinctually to run away from that lip-licking sabre-toothed tiger or to start treading water when in too deep, we as a species would most likely be extinct.
But fear can overtake a life.
It can perpetuate a circle of anxiety, pain and loss.
Which brings me to my point. Are our societal fears getting out of hand? And how can I make a change so my children can live in a world not dominated by fear long after I am gone?
Adrian Crook made headlines recently, coming under fire for letting his four children (ages seven through 11) commute from home to school on a city bus unattended.
Of course the internet “blew up” with arguments both defending the father’s choice and finding the father at fault of putting his children at risk.
A personal choice, which started out only affecting his family, was suddenly affecting the community.
So where can we go from here? What can we learn from this and similar situations, popping up around the country?
It’s a different world than 20 years ago, but is that because the world is truly a more dangerous place or are we just perceiving it as such because as we are evolving so is our fear?
— Becky Mann is a 30-something, red haired, mother of two, trying to navigate this life as best she can. She enjoys talking to people and discovering their stories. Still trying to balance her personal and professional life, she juggles work and play. In her spare time Becky can be found visiting with friends, spending time with her family and saving time by reading while walking. She knows there is so much more to come and is looking forward to the continued adventure.