Just Another Manic Mommy
I’m Worried about My Kids
Dear Manic Mommy: My kids are just 4 and 3. Sometimes, I worry about how easily it would be for a stocking-headed predator to come into their preschool, grab a child, and drive away with him/her. The classroom doors remain unlocked. The teachers are female. I don’t know if I’ll feel differently when my kids get older. I see the kids in elementary school playing on the other side of the soccer field near the street where cars speed by to the freeway. The teachers can never be within arm’s reach of every child. Can you count on a bystander to witness an abduction, be able to read the license plate clearly, describe the exact car?
Child molesters are prohibited from living near schools but they can still hang out and watch them from the perimeters. Kids don’t have a GPS device embedded in their bodies. How could you prevent them from being abducted and never found? There are pictures of missing kids on milk cartons. There are child molesters in every community even the nice one
where we live. If I address the issue with the teachers and other moms, they may think I’m paranoid and not want to cause fear in the children. But are we naively turning a blind eye on a reality that could have devastating consequences? Do other moms out there have these worries when they drop their kids off?
Manic Mommy: Well, I do think some of your concerns are normal and natural worries that all mothers have.
I’ll discuss the easy stuff first:
You mention your school remains unlocked. There’s no reason you can’t bring your concerns to the PTO about getting a security system into place. Our school recently had a system installed. Our school also has prepared plans in case of classroom emergencies. If you discuss your concerns with the heads of your district, or with some of the mothers you trust and know feel the same way you do, I bet you can get a plan into action. You may be surprised as to how many moms feel the same way as you do about school security but are possibly embarrassed to share their concerns. They are YOUR children. You have an absolute right to do everything in your power to find ways to keep them safe.
Now the more serious aspect to your question:
If these worries you are talking about are preoccupying you all the time when your children are not in your sight, then there may be other factors to take into account.
I do worry about my children too. I worry if we’re in McDonald’s what if someone with a gun comes in how will I protect them? Or even, as you mentioned, what if something bad happens to them while they’re at school and I am not there to keep them safe. These are common worries that we all have. But they are FLEETING moments that I have. They do not consume me.
You have to ask yourself: Are these thoughts and worries consuming me?
If the fear is taking hold of your life, preventing you from enjoying the things you are meant to enjoy, then you may need to discuss this with a professional. I have been on anti-anxiety medicine for other reasons, and if you feel like your fears are preventing you from living your life the way it’s meant to be lived and enjoyed, you might want to schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss these very personal concerns.
There are the situations in life that we have total control over, and then there are situations we have no control over. Do what you can to control what you can to keep your children from harm’s way.
I love that prayer, God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
And remember, mother’s instinct is a very powerful tool! Use it!