It seems like every time you turn around, there’s something new to worry about regarding your children’s safety: Canned vegetables and BPA. Swimming and dry drowning. And now… sunscreen spray and cancer. It’s enough to make any parent lose their mind.
While hiding away and doing our best to shield our children from anything that could harm them may be a tempting solution at times, we all know that eventually we’re going to have to let our kids out into the world, and eventually we are going to expose them to some things that aren’t the best for them. When this time comes, don’t drive yourself crazy with worry. Use these four steps for raising your child in today’s world without losing your mind.
How to Raise a Child in Today’s World Without Losing Your Mind
1. Accept the Inevitable
First of all, realize that every kid is going to be exposed to something dangerous at some point. It doesn’t matter how careful you are, either. Your kids are still going to get bumps and bruises, they are going to get their feelings hurt, and they are probably going to eat dirt at some point. Trying to protect them from everything would be futile.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to protect your children from things that are clearly dangerous, but that you don’t need to obsessively worry over everything. As the saying goes, “A little dirt don’t hurt.”
2. Get Informed
All too often, our fears and reactions are based on how dangerous we feel a situation is, not how dangerous the situation actually is. Combat this fear by getting the facts. If you are worried about your child attending her first sleepover, meet the other girl’s family and ask questions about sleeping arrangements. If you are worried about the meals your son will eat at school, find out more about what the school serves and how it is prepared.
3. Make Healthier Choices
Once you have the facts about a situation, you are better able to make an educated decision instead of an emotional reaction. Whether you choose to cloth diaper or disposable diaper, to serve organic food or hit the drive thru, or to formula feed or breastfeed, you’ll feel much more confident and secure with your decision, since it will be based on facts.
4. Seek Balance
Lastly, whatever choices you make for your family, be sure that you take a balanced approach. There is no reason to go completely overboard and ruin all the fun because of your fears. Instead, determine what your goals and priorities are (whether you want your kids to eat healthier or stay safer when they are out of your sight, for example), and then determine what a reasonable course of action would be. What works for your family isn’t necessarily the same as what works for others, and you have to make the choices that are best for you.
What things about raising a child in today’s world worry you and threaten to make you lose your mind?
Wife and mom to two very energetic little boys, when Brittany isn’t busy chasing after her kidlets, you can find her reading, writing or sneaking chocolate so she doesn’t have to share–probably all of the above!