Posted by: tracey | 2008/01/31


I have 4 children the youngest is 19 months. I am very attached to him and have never enjoyed parenting as much as I do now with him, however I have the same dream every two - three days and repeatdly during the night about him drowning. I have a pool net on the pool, i have two lovely childminders and my husband and I work from home so I dont know why i am so paranoid. Should I lie down to watch DR phil even though the gates and doors are locked i take the keys for the gates with me and put them under the pillow, i cannot even take a nap knowing my son is playing in the lounge with my husband. This is driving me mad and depressing me. Why am I like this? Also i have only ever left him once while away on business, i hate to be apart from him is this normal? Please note I do not baby my little one, I am a fairly strict and disciplined mother who believes in structure and routine. What is wrong with me, the paranoia is taking control.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

JOhn does it again ! Excellent response ! The gadget that wails when wet sounds great, so long as it can ignroe nappies. And teaching swimming skills as soon as appropriate, yes indeed. And yes, the rational precaitions, nets, and locks, etc., are fine. It sounds as though the problem isn't really about dreams, as the excessive levels of anxiety apparently persist through the day. It sounds more a matetr of getting the degree of vigilance and concern into perspective and proportion. Yes, seeing a personal counsellor would be a good idea, to explore why the very sensible concern has become a tad excessive, and why the sensible precautions suddenly don't feel enough. It's often such major changes in one's attitudes and approach to life that need explanation and perhaps modification. And of course I'd recommend seeking a CBT oriented therapist, to help you regain control of the situation and your reactions to it

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Posted by: John | 2008/01/31

Tracey, I cannot comment on the value of dreams as I have always regarded them as being next to useless for application of content, meaning, guidance that they may contain in real life. Some people think that dreams have some meaning but such meaning is obscure, symbolic and needs to be interpreted or even taken literally (as I suspect you are doing).

I am all for OTT child care for such young infants 9as one cannot be too careful) so the locks and nets and minders are fine, and I would even go further and have one of those alarms that make a noise when it gets wet, the one that child wears like a watch. And finally, I would strongly recommend that you teach the child to swim as soon as it is practical to do so. Infants, I believe, can be taught but I don't know if this specialist training is available in your area.

That said (with the paranoia still intact) it may be beneficial for you - and your partner? - to get some counselling to address the apparently disproportionate concern for your child's safety, particularly as it seems to be focussed on drowning. The CS would have greater insight but make sure you have your little one learn to swim asap.

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