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Protecting the Gift discussion - ch. 3 Worry

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone!

We're on chapter three in our discussion of the book Protecting the Gift by Gavin DeBecker. If you're new, feel free to get caught up with us and join in the discussion.

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Chapter three was about worry. How did the things you worried about change when you became a parent? How does worry affect your parenting?

What stood out to you in this chapter?

ch 4 thread - http://www.mothering.com/discussions....php?t=1028100
post #2 of 31
I have a saying that my 10 yr old dd rolls her eyes at -- "It is a mother's job to imagine terrible things." You cannot keep your children safe from danger unless you can imagine the danger -- that is a point this chapter makes.

But nothing is worse than worry. I converted to Catholicism a few years back and there is a line added to the Lord's Prayer in our Catholic services that I never heard in United Church services or read in my protestant bible: "keep us free from all anxiety." I can't think of anything better to pray for. Anxiety/worry sucks the life out of a person.

I used to worry about things to do with my parents' health, my dh's job, my own job. After having children, I think I worry less, honestly. I am too busy. One thing I do really stress out about is my dh and children going somewhere in the same car without me. What if a single accident wiped out every reason I have to live?

So I related in a way to the mom who wanted to to be in the plane with her daughters so that if there was a plane crash, they wouldn't be left alone.

The most important point in this chapter for me was on page 54

"True fear...will be based upon something you perceive in your environment or your circumstance. Unwarranted fear or worry will always be based upon something in your imagination or your memory."

For me, also, anxiety/worry has more of a fever pitch, feels more frantic. Real fear or intuition of real danger, the few times I've felt it in my life in de Becker's sense of the word, is a lot calmer -- one is just too busy acting or reacting to feel hysterical, ime. The adrenalin rush is a less emotional feeling than that worry that makes you feel you can't sleep, that makes you feel sick in your guts.
post #3 of 31
I just had to chuckle at the funeral directors story...I grew up with a Peds nurse for a mother...

I just had a kid who came into the ER because he/she (insert dangerous thing I wanted to do here)

It was part of my life

However I needed to be dying in order to not have to go to school
post #4 of 31
Moving to Media
Please start new discussions on this book in Media- Thanks!!
post #5 of 31
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post #6 of 31
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post #7 of 31
I'm actually going to move you into the Book Club forum. Have a great discussion, mamas!
post #8 of 31
DH is reading this with me and thinks he can use a lot of the info in here for his woman's self defense class...most are mothers and he thinks he can adapt this info for the 'talk' parts of his class.
post #9 of 31
subbing ... It's been about a year since I read this book, and I'd love to be a part of the discussion.
post #10 of 31
I've read this book over a year ago and I'd like to take part in the discussion.

I'll come back tomorrow with more thoughts on Chapter 3.
post #11 of 31
Quote:
How did the things you worried about change when you became a parent? How does worry affect your parenting? What stood out to you in this chapter?
When I became a parent, I was overwhelmed with worrying about every single little thing. And worried that I would overlook something else I *should* be worrying about.

What stood out to me most in this chapter was the thought that my constant worrying was like static that drowned out my instincts about things that *should* make me nervous. To me, it felt sooooo freeing to stop worrying about an imaginary bogeyman. Instead, I now have specific tools I can use to evaluate situations that make me uncomfortable. And I have a specific list of signs to watch for - so very helpful.

PS - I saw Doubt this afternoon, and I have to say I watched the whole thing through my "PTG filter." Anyone else seen this yet, and feel the same way?
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
DeBecker says in the chapter that a parent's number one fear is that their child will be kidnapped by a stranger. Have you found this to be the case in your own life? Is that something you worry about?
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
DeBecker says in the chapter that a parent's number one fear is that their child will be kidnapped by a stranger. Have you found this to be the case in your own life? Is that something you worry about?
I am waaaayyy more concerned about molestation. Kidnapping has never really concerned me. I've always realized that it's the people closest to you that can do the most harm. It's what happened to me.
post #14 of 31
My worries are actually more related to things that have happened in my family/life than not.

A relative's preschooler escaped from a rural back yard and died of exposure shortly before my first child was born , so I worry about locking doors when I have a toddler around, going camping, to visit on farms, etc.

I have had 3 pg losses and know someone who had multiple stillbirths, so I agonize over pregnancy loss when I am pregnant.

My dd and I had a serious miscommunication about where she was supposed to be playing and she was missing for 45 minutes once (the police found her.) She thought she had permission to be where she was and didn't realize we were looking for her. 45 min is a long time, and something just broke in me during those minutes

Even though it ended well, it was the worst experience of my life -- I could have lived my entire life without looking at my dh and saying "We can't find her. We need to call the police, now.", without giving the police a description of my child.... ...when I saw dd ok, I just broke down and cried uncontrollably for HOURS....Just typing about it is making me cry

I now have zero defenses against my worry about dd going missing and I *need* to feel like I know where dd is and can get in touch with her at all times. She now carries a cell phone and we are in very close communication now. I joke sometimes that if it ever becomes socially acceptable to have microchip locaters implanted in one's children, I'll be first in line (but I fear I'm not really completely joking :.

It is not so much a worry about stranger abduction, per se, though I guess that is a big fear that is part of it, just a worry of losing my child and not knowing where he/she is. THe fear of not knowing. It must be AGONY for parents whose children are truly missing.

I intellectually know about the risk of sexual abuse to children, but I take my precautions without worry because it hasn't been part of my experience, if that makes sense.
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
DeBecker says in the chapter that a parent's number one fear is that their child will be kidnapped by a stranger. Have you found this to be the case in your own life? Is that something you worry about?
This is a fear of mine but I know it's non logical. When we first moved to downstairs apartment I was so afraid hat someone would climb into their room and steal them. I *KNOW* this is not likely at all to happen but I can't stop thinking about the kids who it DId happen to.
I worry that someone is gonna say it was my fault for not worrying enough, for not protecting them enough, for letting them play unsupervised, for posting on blog, for belonging to freecyclce for I don't know living life and exposing them to the world...
I am afraid of being blamed for not being not being a good enough parent.

Yet..I don't let these paralyze us. I continue on and don't let on about the fears b/c I know they are unreasonable.
My kids have no idea that I'm worried about them being stolen. My kids live freely and I secretly worry so at least hopefully I wont pass on the worry tendency.
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by phathui5 View Post
DeBecker says in the chapter that a parent's number one fear is that their child will be kidnapped by a stranger. Have you found this to be the case in your own life? Is that something you worry about?
I worried (illogically) about this a lot before I read PTG, which as I said, calmed my illogical worries a bit.

Then, remember when Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby were found alive in Missouri? The guy who took them grew up literally around the corner from my house, and his parents still live there. He was driving right past my house, visiting his parents, while he had those two boys held captive at his apt. I'm sure my little girl was never in danger, but I still feel sick every time I think about such a monster being in my neighborhood. I know that's an unusual scenario compared to abuse by acquaintances, but it just hit very close to home. I shopped at the same Target as Shawn Hornbeck - what if I passed right by him, and never noticed?

After that, I swore to myself that from now on, I will pay closer attention to my surroundings, and try to practice my PTG tools all the time.
post #17 of 31
My worries are less about the kids being hurt/dying -- though I do worry about that sometimes.
I mainly worry about DH. When he's out, or not back when I'm expecting him then I worry. He has a serious medical condition, and if he were in a car accident that might only be minor injuries for someone else he could be a lot worse off -- and if the paramedics didn't see his medic alert bracelet info, what they do to try to help might actually make it worse.

I read this book when my first DS was young so the statisical facts are not new to me, and I'm sure they have helped with my worrying less about abduction.
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fyrestorm View Post
I am waaaayyy more concerned about molestation. Kidnapping has never really concerned me. I've always realized that it's the people closest to you that can do the most harm. It's what happened to me.
That's how I feel as well.

Although I went to middle school right next to where a little girl disappeared. Maybe when my kids are older and wanting to go places alone I'll be more concerned.
post #19 of 31
I worry a lot about DD getting molested. It is why I am so afraid to send her to school. Later on in the book he shares a story about a kid being raped in school by another student. This happened last year at the elementary school across the street from my sister. A teenager walked in and hid in the bathroom and waited for another child to come in. It scares the crap out of me.

My second biggest fear is second story windows.
post #20 of 31
I read this book years ago (and am so glad I'm rereading it) and I am right back to worrying too much, also about the unrealistic stuff like kidnapping. I know it's not common, but I do think I worry too much and am overly cautious about it. My kids are very young and almost always with me, but now with my oldest in kindergarten I worry about molestation and stuff as well. It is odd though that despite what I've read and despite all the other fears (car accidents, accidents in the home) that I would even still worry about this. It's just hard to shake. To a certain extent I think some worry can prepare me for what I could do in a situation. But then after a while it stresses me out and takes some joy out of parenting.
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