We live in a great big world, friends. One full of scary things, scary people, and the ruler of darkness ostensibly heading up the whole party. How do we not lose hope and fear incessantly for the lives of our loved ones (our BABIES) in this fearful place? Is there such a magical hamlet as fearless parenting?
I remember having ridiculous dreams when O was a newborn about someone breaking in and stealing him…ok, I still have those dreams. When he’s not with me, I fight fearing for his safety incessantly.
Is there freedom from this? How can we, as loving parents, find relief from the fear of something awful happening to our child, especially when awful things happen to children all the time? Isn’t there good reason to fear?
I’m certainly not going to tell you that I’ve mastered this stronghold, but I do have a few tricks up my sleeve to do some serious battle.
Don’t Feel Bad About Triple-Checking
When it comes to safety, I tend to be a tad paranoid. We’re still raising our first, so I may loosen up, but unless those scary dreams dissipate, man, I’m gonna be checking that seat belt harness three times and cutting those grapes in half. At least in half. And I’m not going to feel bad about it either.
Crazy freak accidents do in fact happen, and I’m not going to chance it, ya know?
You Can’t Control Everything
The former being said, there are things that are out of my hands. I can do everything in my power to keep my babe safe and disaster can still strike. So control the things that you can, and don’t fret over all of the things that you can’t. Because there will always be variables in life outside of your sphere of influence.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Praying Parent
Guys! For real. Lift up your babies before the throne. Frequently. As much as it seems like He leaves this world to its own devices, God cares for you. He deeply loves your children. Tap into the power of prayer and give Him the reins to your children’s well-being.
Remember, He loves them even more than you do, as impossible as that seems. It’s the truth, friend. Cross my heart.
Re-Align Your Perspective
What’s that mean, Caitlin? How is that going to help me?
I’m glad you asked, dear fretful parent! Here’s what I’m suggesting: When your eternity is grounded and you come to realize that this life here is a vapor in comparison to the next, your vision shifts. You realize that life is so much bigger than this tiny existence we’re living.
And fear becomes unnecessary. What is there to be afraid of when the God of the universe holds you in His hands? Why should you live in shackles when you can be free? You get what I’m saying here? I hope so. This is earth-shattering, life-changing stuff.
Although we don’t need to fear and we can’t control everything, we’re still the people God chose to parent our littles.
Terrifying prospect, yeah?
But while they’re here with us, we gotta be vigilant you guys. Don’t make assumptions about social media or about your child’s character. That’s a tough one, I know, but our little angelic cherubs are sinners just like us and should only be trusted to a point. Obviously I’m speaking to parents of older children in this case, but the tiny ones will be there soon!
*cue ugly cry*
Until they can begin looking out for themselves, we need to be hyper-aware of the goings-on around our kids. Things happen so quickly. And if we’re being vigilant, we get that extra boost of confidence knowing we’re doing all that we can to keep out the bad guys. *Pow!* *Bang!* *Blam!* Vanquished, punk.
I hardly think this one needs saying, because I’m sure you already do this. You are a fretful parent right alongside me, after all.
Make Your Kids Appropriately Aware
Now I’m not suggesting you put into your kids’ heads that there’s a boogeyman out to get them. Kids need to be kids and have the freedom to live without fear too!
However, if they’re modestly aware of why they need to stay near you at the grocery store or at the fair or in the parking lot, they’ll have a reason to do so.
Children aren’t daft. Oftentimes if there’s a rule without a reason, it becomes more like a foggy guideline. Apply this as you best see fit for your family, but it’s important to communicate with our kids. Give them the mental responsibility so that they can turn it into a physical one.
You needn’t live in fear, dear fellow parent warrior. Raising human beings holds a lot of weight, but you’re the perfect one for the job. I’m sure of it. 😉
Live freely, friend!
What are your biggest fears in parenting? Do you have any other tips that help you fight off the oppression of fear? What’s your most successful parenting strategy? Remember that success and let it give you confidence in the abilities you’ve been given!