Sometimes I think worrying has become a national pastime. Obviously you want what’s best for your child, and you don’t want to see them hurt…and once you have a child, it occurs to you just how dangerous the world really is. Twigs on bushes suddenly seem to be actively reaching for little eyes to poke, the corners of your coffee table suddenly transform into deadly weapons laughing evilly as they wait to impale a little body, and every crack in the sidewalk is revealed to be a booby-trap put there on purpose to trip kids and break their necks.
Concern for the children has really gone too far; a bowling unit from a childhood P.E. class comes to mind. I remember being sternly warned to be very careful, because if I wasn’t I might get my eye poked out by a rubber bowling ball. I was tempted to hit myself in the eye with it just to see if that was even possible—I didn’t try, but I still don’t think it is.
So here’s the thing: in many ways, your child is actually tougher than you are. If you both broke an arm at the same time, she would be back in action sooner, and without the lasting effects you might have. They fall down, and most of the time a kiss and a band-aid are enough to have them playing again as if nothing happened—within minutes. It’s okay. With your help, they can deal with a lot more than you give them credit for.
There just aren’t enough missing eyeballs in society to support the ever-increasing, ever-sillier warnings. Do refrain from giving your young children butcher’s knives or sticks of dynamite as toys, but be mindful of what will actually help your child in the long run. What kind of adult do you suppose would result from a childhood with all risk removed, without the chance for even the smallest challenge to be overcome? Let your child grow into someone who is empowered to deal with problems; they’ll appreciate it, and you will, too—when they’re running the country. Yikes :-)!