Why this parenting topic?
As I do every Friday, I will be signing off soon. As always, I want to remind you to do the same. Does the thought frighten you? Scared an emergency will arise with someone you love and you won’t know about it in time? You need a 911 plan, then as Alice Caldwell Rice, American writer noted: “It ain’t no use putting up your umbrella till it rains.”
For parents turning off means not being there if the awful happens to your child. Understandable, but in terms of the awful, there is nothing you can do, other than pray, hope, and trust that someone there knows how to help.
As a child, one night, I could not sleep. When I heard foot steps, I turned over and slept because I thought it was my brother coming home. But the foot steps were because the awful had happened to my brother. He had been in an automobile accident. The footsteps were parents were heading to the hospital. I learned that the next morning.
John came home from the hospital three days later minus many teeth and with his jaw wired shut. He said the car landed on his jaw. He lived on banana milkshakes for six weeks. He is hale and hardy today.
There were no cell phones in those days, so I guess the call came through on the land line. The point, however, is the professionals were taking care of my brother. No matter how soon my parents learned about the accident, all they could have done was go to the hospital and wait which is what they did in the middle of the night anyway.
Still I am not impervious to the fears related to disconnecting. So here are a few tips before you go totally cold turkey
Parenting tip one: Do your homework. As Duane Alan Hahn, blogger at Random Terrain notes, “Fools worry; the wise prepare.” No parents worry no matter how much they prepare, but wise preparations can reduce our worrying a bit. That means have emergency numbers in your cell phone and your child’s cell phone. List two family members that can be called if you cannot be reached, and a neighbor who is willing to pound on your door if need be.Have the same numbers on a safety card everyone in the family keeps on them.
Parenting tip two: Make sure everyone included on your child’s emergency care know they are there as back up if you cannot be reached. Our kids know we do not answer our phone on Shabbat, that we will mostly be at services if not at home, and that in a major emergency which neighbor will alert us to the problem.
Parenting tip three: Teach your kids what is and is not an emergency. I’ve mentioned before working on crisis teams my staff was required to be available 24/7. In those days we carried beepers. At our first visit, before leaving, we gave the family a sheet detailing when to call 911, when to beep us, and when to wait for regular business hours to call us on the phone. Develop a family plan detailing when someone with a problem needs to call 911, AAA, or you.
Parenting tip three: Let go of worrying and just do it. If you do the above, in terms of planning some unplugged time, you have done essentially all you can to make certain you are found if “an awful” happens. Then just do as I said another time:
Just do it. Sometime this weekend go somewhere with your family, plunk everyone down on the ground or a bench and have a sitting and staring and keeping quiet contest. The last one sitting gets a really good reward. First one up has to do the dishes for a week and you can plan other punishments down to the one who gets the really good reward. Or something like that. You get the point.
Also as always plan your me-time and mate-time. The above serves as family time and quiet time although you might need to add another quiet time for yourself.
Thinking about what matters“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.” Dalai Lama XIV
Life is a struggle, full of pain and suffering. Parenting intensifies the struggle, but also brings more joy to your life.
Sharing and caring creates a better world for all. When you like, comment, or share one of my posts you become a light in my heart and help me keep up my efforts to stay strong.
Disclaimer one: Advice is just advice.
Even the most learned researchers and theorists quarrel about much. Take their advice and mine carefully. Don’t just listen to your heart, but also think; don’t just think. Heart and head working together increase the odds you will find useful advice amid all the promises and hopes pushed at you by others. As others have noted, take what seems useful, leave the rest.
Disclaimer two: Forgive my grammatical errors
Not only am I dealing with an aging brain, but all of my life I have been plagued by dysgraphia–a learning disability that is akin to dyslexia when one writes. No matter how much I edit, mistakes get by. If you need perfect posts, you will not find them here; I will understand if you don’t follow me. If you want to hang in with me, thank you.