Posted by: Henli | 2008/10/30

neurotic mother

I' m not sure whether this is a question for Cybershrink or for the paediatrician, but I would really appreciate some advice. I' m the single (widowed) mother of a 6 year old. When I grew up, my parents allowed us to run around outside and visit friends, as long as our homework was done and we were back by dark. However, I have turned into a completely neurotic mother, and I really would not like to damage my child because of it. I don' t want her to play outside our gates (in a housing estate), and if she visits friends I worry constantly about her. When she' s asked to visit friends (especially those with a swimming pool), I find it very hard to say yes, and in the rare case that I did, I almost could not function with worry. I don' t want her to go to the tuck shop at school, because I feel she will then be away from her teacher. When I lose sight of her in shop (I told her many times not to play hide and seek or go to another isle), I get close to hysterical. I would like her to be independent,but I don' t know how to teach her that while trying to protect her at all costs. Please tell me what to do.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Well, sadly the days are long past when it would be safe to encoyrage kids to run around unsupervised and stay out late. Isn't the challenge you face to get all this in perspective, though ? Discuss the risks frankly and calmly with your child, as an alert and intelligent child is the best protection available. Its fair enough for her not to play outside the complex without nsupervision. She should be OK at a friend's house IF that child's parent is there and known to be careful. But again, if your child (a) learns to swim, and (b) learns about the risks of a pool, she'd be safer still. Going to the tuck-shiop shouldn't be a risk would it ? I guessthe central iss is that YOU can't protect her completely at all times, however hard you try. But if you help her to protect herself, she ends up far safer

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