It can seem like parenting is a rather perilous thing, right? The statistics come at you like daggers to your heart–how many kids die each year in this kind of accident or that one, how many kids are injured doing this and that. The world feels so dangerous, so terrifying.
And it is true–there are real dangers out there. Some are random. Some are merciless. Some are impossible to prevent or protect yourself against.
But that is not the norm at all. Most dangers are not like random kidnappings or freak cancer diagnoses. A lot of them are more like the tragedies involving guns left out in the home or kids riding a bike without a helmet or getting the measles, for which you can be easily vaccinated. It’s not knowing how to install a car seat properly or not taking your time with it, it’s not teaching a high schooler about safe sex or the dangers of fentanyl.
It’s also worth remembering who is included in all these statistics that scare us so much…because it will help you calm down. Who is included? Everyone. That includes the parents you see at the store or on an airplane or at your own kid’s school–the ones that aren’t paying attention, that let their kids do insanely dangerous things, the ones that willfully reject science or basic rules.
We have to remember that these people–the deniers, the negligent, the reckless–they are included in every statistic. They bring down the averages. Or bring up the averages. They make it seem like ‘it could happen to anyone’–-but not everyone lies or acts that way, ignores the consequences that way. The world is dangerous, sure–because a lot of parents court danger, don’t take basic precautions, or think it’ll never happen. (More tragically another segment that is included is people who, for many reasons, don’t have the resources or knowledge or the time to be safer).
That isn’t you. You’re doing your job. You’re protecting them while you can. Which should mean you can worry way way way less.