6 Irrational Fears We Unintentionally Pass On To Our Kids
Irrational fears; we all have em’, and they can be pretty embarrassing. As parents, I think we all try our best to get a handle on our fears, as adults, so we don’t pass them on to our poor, unsuspecting children. And in this regard, I fail miserably at parenting. What can I say, I was a neurotic kid and I’m a neurotic adult. Seriously, I put Ally Mcbeal to shame (anyone remember that damn dancing baby?), and unfortunately this means I’ve passed some of my ridiculous fears on to my kids. Doesn’t every parent have a few of these? Or is that just me? Below are some of the irrational fears I’ve passed on to my brood. I’m sure your mileage will vary.
This is probably a pretty common fear, but I take it to the extreme. I go beyond “screaming for my husband to smash a spider” scared, into “gross, sweaty panic attack” scared, and boy is it humiliating. And now my poor husband has to deal with four panicked wimps instead of one.
I am proud to say that I’ve made a lot of progress overcoming my fear of flying in recent years. At least for myself. I am still terrified when I even think about my children boarding a plane. The worst part is that intellectually I know that flying is actually the safest way to travel. But emotionally I just can’t get past the thought of crashing, and my kids have definitely picked up on it.
3. Very Specific Germs
I’m no germaphobe, let me make that clear. I don’t run around with a bottle of Purell sanitizing every surface that my little snowflakes touch. No, what I’m irrationally afraid of are Super Bugs. A few years ago a family member of mine got a particularly nasty antibiotic resistant strain of MRSA and spent a month in the hospital dealing with it. Ever since I’ve become a maniac about germs, but only in Super Bug friendly places, aka the very places where I should feel most safe – hospitals, doctors offices, etc.
4. The Subway
Fun fact; approximately 116 people die in subway incidents in NYC every year. I didn’t know this until I witnessed a man fall in front of the E train when my oldest was a baby which led me to Google the phenomenon. Now every time I have to take my kids on the subway I have white-knuckles the entire time, just waiting for something awful to happen. I know this is super irrational, seeing as there are nine million people in this city, but it is what it is.
I know this isn’t entirely irrational, since I do live in New York City, but it’s not like I live in Manhattan. I live in NYC’s version of Guam, on the Rockaway Peninsula. My kids are probably more likely to be struck by lightening than killed in a terrorist attack, but this is a constant worry of mine. Especially when riding the subway.
I live less than a block from the Atlantic ocean in an urban beach community in NYC, so I’ve raised my kids to have a healthy respect for the water. They all know how to swim and understand basic water safety. Yet I still have an irrational fear of them drowning so bad that I have to force myself to let them play in the water. Even at the pool. Even freaking kiddie pools. My oldest was so afraid of the water due to my bullshit that she didn’t learn how to swim until she was seven because she wouldn’t go in the damn water. Thankfully my other two are less affected by my worry-warty-ness and had no problems swimming.