What Parents Fear Most & What to Do About It
Being a parent is considered the high point of life for most who have lived through the joy, torture, fears, and rewards of raising children. One thing parents have in common is fear. Researchers recently discovered that fears are often misdirected, causing parents to worry about things that are unlikely to ever happen. What is often occurring at the same time is that parents neglect everyday things that could better ensure a child’s security in the world. Approaching fears in a practical way could help put away the worries that keep parents up at night.
Number One Fear: Providing Opportunity
The number one fear parents have, according to one extensive survey, is that their children will not get the needed education and opportunities to help them reach their potential. This parental fear is no secret, and our commercial economy taps into it. In fact, fueling the fear that children will miss out on life’s best opportunities has proven to be a lucrative marketing strategy for many sellers of toys, reading programs, and other products and services that promise to put a child on the fast track to success.
Experts say buying your children fewer things and sticking to a few basic toys is the best way to fuel imagination and resourcefulness. Constant hovering hinders these traits as well as independence and basic life skills.
Accidents and Injuries
Parents express the fear that their children will be injured in some type of accident, such as an automobile accident. This is a valid concern, since injuries sustained in a car crash are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. Of the fatal car crashes involving children, about 40% of the children who died were not restrained by a seat belt or car seat. Also, more than two-thirds of the children were in a vehicle with a driver who had been driving drunk. Obviously, keeping children in proper seat belts and ensuring that they don’t get in a car with an adult who has been drinking can greatly reduce danger on the roadways.
Parents often worry their children may have problems fitting in socially or may be bullied. This is also a valid concern, especially in today’s society, where online bullying is connected to alarming statistics showing that child suicides have gone up at an alarming rate. Experts suggest that parents routinely discuss the importance of not bullying as well as how to be resilient when bullying occurs.
Part of the Job
These parental fears and many others are very much a part of the job. It’s helpful to take every possible step to address real concerns. Giving children daily love, appropriate discipline, and guidance for living while also being diligent about safety is usually enough to sufficiently nurture a child and safely escort him or her into a bright future.