Paranoid?

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2010 ( 39 moms have responded )

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So a few threads i've seen lately have got me wondering whether society has become overly paranoid.
Things like cameras to spy on Nannies.
Men feeling uncomfortable around children in case they're accused of molesting them.
The foods we eat.
Keeping guns to feel "safe".

Do you think all these things (and other possible examples) are a good thing? Keeping us safer?
Or do you think we've become too paranoid? That all these things are just serving to make us more scared??

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Isobel - posted on 03/27/2010

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I think there is HUGE profit in fear!...In fact I wonder how many of those books sole...probably millions.

I have always drilled (and I do mean drilled...we have regular quizzes) about how to behave with strangers (anybody who is not regularly invited to our home or vice versa). I have also taught them to follow their gut instinct...when they feel uncomfortable, there is a reason; it's a self defense mechanism.

I think that it's my JOB to prepare my children for the world that they are eventually going to live in, and I take that job very seriously. Bubble wrapping them and keeping them away from all danger is not going to teach them how to survive in the world today.

There is no more danger in the world than there was when we were kids (I can name three very famous disappearances of girls my age in my city through various times in my upbringing and somehow my mother had the courage to let me out).

I don't think that women who let their kids outside on their own are lazy...I think they are brave...and doing the right thing for their kids.

La - posted on 03/24/2010

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I grew up in a not so nice city in urban NJ...yeah bad stuff ABSOLUTELY happens. My dad was a cop in our city- about 2 murders a week and several burglaries a day...plus drug and gang problems galore! My mom is a security guard at the high school there and has confiscated everything from guns to knives to minor explosives and has to break up fights (mostly gang related and usually armed) on a regular basis.



Although the government and media only highlight the negative events as a scare tactic of sorts, these bad things ARE still happening...and the first thing the victims say is "I didn't think it could happen to me." Bad things can happen to anyone, anywhere. Just because you live in an area that it usually DOESN'T happen in, that doesn't mean that it can't be you one day. I don't live my life like a paranoid freak, but I definately lock everything, watch my surroundings, don't let the kids wander from direct eyesight, and have weapons in the house. There is a difference in being "paranoid" vs being "prepared."

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Joanne - posted on 03/27/2010

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The book I recommended is all about using your intuition to guide you when dealing with strangers. It's a very good book to read and actually helpful in understanding fear and how our subconscious can recognize it long before we consciously do. Having been molested as a child I guess I have a lot of respect for fear and for the record most molestations are perpetrated by someone the family knows not by strangers.
The world has become more dangerous simply because there are more people in it to commit crimes. I do not let my daughter play out in the front yard for the simple reason it would be easy for some one to drive by and grab her. Am I paranoid? Maybe but I'd much rather be safe than sorry.

Rose - posted on 03/27/2010

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I do think society is way paranoid. The government will do anything to bring in extra money if that means pointing out all the bad people and not congratulating the good people. Not every person is bad. Society even has us scared to feed our kids certain foods or foods to early in age that we spend all this time worrying if we are being good parents or not and not worrying if our child is happy and healthy.

Krista - posted on 03/26/2010

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I agree with Cat that the media has a large role to play in this. Yes, bad stuff does happen, and we need to use our common sense. However, when every night on the news we hear about reason number 472 why our kids are unsafe, why everything we eat is giving us cancer, and why everybody is out to get us...well, it can be difficult to not internalize that.

I do think that the overwhelming majority of people are trustworthy. Obviously, it behooves us to trust our instincts when they're telling us that something is not right. But otherwise, if we see danger behind every bush, every corner, and every stranger's face, we'll wind up in the funny farm.

[deleted account]

About the doctor thing, if I wasn't married to Jason Hopkins we would be at the dr. office all the time. He is a nurse and believes only in calling the doc as a very last resort and just to get necessary medication. I am thankful that he knows what he does. It doesn't keep me from worrying though. Recently, my daughter came down with hand, foot and mouth disease. It's a viral infection where you get sores in your mouth, hands, and feet. I was going insane, but my husband knew exactly how to handle the situation and we didn't even need to go in to the doc. We did call her, however, just to check if there was something she could prescribe for our daughter, but it's one of those things that has to run it's course.

So in short, I'm pretty paranoid about medical issues concerning my daughter and my husband is under-paranoid. We balance each other out. :)

Dana - posted on 03/25/2010

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Oh, let me share my paranoia story. When Ethan was 6 months old we started swim classes. While in the pool the instructor took him and slid him through the water towards me. Problem was, his face was in the water the whole way towards me. He came up coughing and choking on water. I took him from her after giving her a dirty look and saying something very curtly after she said something to me.(poor girl was about 16). I ended up leaving the class 10 minutes early and taking him straight to his doctors because I keep feeling a rumble in his chest. All I could think was , dry drowning, dry drowning. I had seen it on the news a year before. lol He was fine, the doctor probably thinks I'm nuts but hey they know me there now. ;) I look back since Ethan is 19 months, swimming again and going under the water and think what a total nut I was. I slept good that night though. hehe

Lisamarie - posted on 03/25/2010

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It does scare people into not taking their children into hospital, although if I felt my child needed it I would not think twice about taking them, when social services got involved I was worried at first, but then my arguement is at least they are doing something about it and childrens recurring injuries are not being disregarded.

I also live in the UK and the crime here is low, recently though in my area women were told not to leave the house alone at ANY time of the day as about 6 women were sexual abused within 2 weeks, after 6 weeks of living in fear two boys aged 21 and 23 were arrested and only one was charged! These men were abusing women from the age of 14 to 55!

I think sex crime is the biggest worry I have in my area because we have very few, if any, guns, knives and gangs.

Sarah - posted on 03/25/2010

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The point about taking kids to the hospital when they hurt themselves is an interesting one.
I've heard some parents are becoming too scared to take their kids to A&E for fear of social services or whatever becoming involved.
You do have to explain yourself a lot sometimes, and i have heard stories of kids being taken away from parents after an innocent accident.
It would never stop me from going to A&E though.

Also, i definitely think where you live plays a big part in how worried people are.
My town is relatively safe, and i'm in the UK, so very rare to have gun crime.
Maybe if i lived in a city i would feel differently.

Yes Esther, i guess so long as pizza and cheese on toast are classed as ok, i'll be fine!! haha :)

Esther - posted on 03/25/2010

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Quoting Caitlin:

[ ] but baby kneepads so they don't hurt their knees learning to crawl

Caitlin - I always thought those things were ridiculous as well and I've never bought any, but I will say that I do think there can be a need for those. When my son was 9 months old and crawling at full speed, we went on a vacation and we had rented this bungalow that had cheap carpet in it. After a day or so, he actually had first degree burns on his knees from the carpet. We had to stop putting him in shorts while in the house because he was really in pain. He started to "walk" around on all fours like Mowgli in Jungle Book (like this: http://images.search.yahoo.com/images/vi...)

Esther - posted on 03/25/2010

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Quoting Sarah:

The food thing really does drive me mental, if i listened to every ''study'' about which food now may cause cancer or something, i'd never eat again!!!





Sarah - You already don't eat anything :)) As long as pizza is safe - you're good right?

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Maybe it's a Canadian thing lol I refuse to give into it too


Interesting theory Jo! I stayed in Canada (Calgary) for two months in college. I remember not wanting to be alone in a house or at night because we had just caught a viscous serial killer that targeted LSU students where I was going at the time. At school I wouldn't walk 3 blocks to the cafeteria by myself after dark. People thought I was crazy. By the end of my stay there I was walking a dog alone at 10pm. Generally speaking though, the crime in Calgary seemed to be ridiculously low compared to Baton Rouge.

Anyway, now that I'm older and live in a pretty safe community, I'm okay with being alone at night (have to be, husband works nights) and pumping my gas at night, etc. But my husband keeps a gun by our bed, because it makes him feel better about leaving me at night.

And on another topic from my post but because it was mentioned in the OP, we are fairly careful about the foods we eat. I'm an avid label reader and buy organic when I can. I don't find that being paranoid, just health conscience. Diabetes and heart disease run rampant in my family so I want to do what I can to avoid it.

Lisamarie - posted on 03/25/2010

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kids will fall, scrape their knees, bruise themselves - even break bones, nobody will look down on you if your kid hurts themselves. Okay, maybe if they're playing with a hot stove unattended they will, but for falling? give me a break!




My daughter was running in the livingroom and as I told her to stop she ran into the corner of the wall and cracked her forehead slightly, we went to A&E to get stitched up, the whole time I was there I was given dirty looks by doctors and nurses! Three months later, I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with my second child and was in hospital with complications, my hubby was with me so my mum was watching our daughter, she fell off the back step of the house and hit her head and opened up the same cut as before! My mum rushed her to hospital, got stitched, more dirty looks and whilst I was in hospital after having my son a socail worker went to my home to speak to my hubby about my daughter hurting her head. He explained I was in hospital and they agreed to come back, I haven't heard anything since. My point is, we do have to worry about our children, of course children are going to get hurt at some point but that doesn't mean we aren't going to try our best to keep them safe.

I agree we have probably been pushed into fear by all the media stories you hear but to be honest it doesn't make the slightest bit of difference whether I'm paranoid or not. I used reins when my daughter started walking because I KNEW that she would be safer, if she tripped I could pull on the riens and keep her upright, I'd rather that than have her fall and smash her face on the pavement, which is what my nephew did and split his lip!

Tah - posted on 03/25/2010

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i def believe it is a mixture..i was about to say that sharon was my neighbor because last school year my neighbors daughter was approached by 2 men in a white van, they were bold enough to back into her carport and try to get her to come to the van, she ran into the house and called her parents, and then the van kept riding around, as parents we had to take action and actually watch our children get on and off the bus..and i mean our middle and high school children,

I get where laura is coming from she idef is my neighbor, i am from southwest philadelphia and if you think NJ is bad...My 16 year old cousin was just shot in the back and killed and his funeral was sat. he was not into anything, a grown man tried to rob him and his friend and when they turned to run, he sot him..his funeral had city officals there that is how well known and loved this boy was. I went from catholic school to public school and thought i was in a different world, I have sat on my steps and heard gun shots many nights and the next day we hear that so and so was killed and then a mural is out up on a school or some other building...I have grown up having to watch my back..a few months back they found a 16 year old girl, raped, sodomized and in a barrell...the neighbors found the guy first and gave him a butt whupping son good he actually crawled to the cops when they finally got there...

I moved to VA so that my children had less of a chance of being shot. But there are other dangers here, like the white van, Then you have neighbors who are ready to call the cops or cps on you instead of minding their lives and children. I mean there was a time when te village raised the children, now there is no village and half the kids are watching themselves. You never know who is watching your kids, keep them in the house, NO....but keep your eyes on them, of course. Maybe i am paranoid, and I am christian, so i pray over my children everyday, When they are at the park, while i am studying or cooking, i can see the park from my 2 back balconies, my bedroom, living room and kitchen, and yes i check on them, i teach them what to do, i have put them in self-defense so that they can learn that amongst other things...because i can't be on a college campus with them, esp my daughter, and They just found the body of a Va girl, college student that disapeared months ago from a concert, you may have seen it on the world news...Things happen, and they happpen too close for comfort, i don't think everybody is after me or my kids, but i don't like to take chances if i don't have to...

I work overnights and we use the back entrance to get into this facility, and it is covered by trees and bushes with a apt complex on the other side, they did a sexual offender check on the complex one day and found so many predators lived in there it was scary, i have my OC SPRAY that my husband bought me and i carry it with me on the way on because security is not always there and a few years back a employee was grabbed but people heard her screams came and helped...

So if you reside somewhere that you haven't experienced these things then i am sure that you will may feel that others are paranoid, i think sometimes it's personal or close experience, sometimes it's media, but i don't think you should let your guard completely down, ever, esp with yout kids..

Carolee - posted on 03/24/2010

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Why wouldn't we be paranoid when everybody is SO into everybody else's business and persecuting them for the slightest infractions? It's gotten to the point that we can't even raise our own children the way we see fit because we're afraid that our neighbor is keeping too close an eye on us for no good reason.



There are certain things that I'm paranoid about, but I have EARNED that paranoia. I very firmly believe that if we actually ENCOURAGED other mothers when they have a problem, some of that paranoia could/would go away naturally. Just because YOU wouldn't do something with YOUR kids does NOT mean that I shouldn't do it with MINE. Opinions and past experiences should be shared, but not insisted upon and/or demanded in any way. But, that's just my opinion.

Caitlin - posted on 03/24/2010

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There is so much paranois out there, but I don't buy into it. Though I wouldn't send my children to the park without going with them (they are still young) i'll still teach them not to talk to strangers and all that, but some of the products i've seen out there crack me up!



Not really for kidnapping, but baby kneepads so they don't hurt their knees learning to crawl, a soft helmet so that if they fall and bump their heads it wont cause any lasting brain injury (yeah right - only if they fall out of the window), a type of marrionette harness for your child learning to walk so they don't fall and lose confidence and so you don't have to "bend their arms in an unnatural position to hold their hands". Parents that wont be farther away than arms length at the playground make me laugh - kids will fall, scrape their knees, bruise themselves - even break bones, nobody will look down on you if your kid hurts themselves. Okay, maybe if they're playing with a hot stove unattended they will, but for falling? give me a break!



The only thing i'm paranoid about is my daughter eating anywhere out of the house, or food anyone else prepares - but that's a food allergy thing and i've almost lost her like 3 times already because of that and she's only 16 months old!

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2010

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I get what you're saying Sharon, bad things DO happen and it certainly doesn't hurt to be aware and take good care of your kids.
I wouldn't say that i blow off the threat of child predators, my eldest is only 5 so she doesn't go off on her own anything yet anyway, but i don't want her to be too scared to ever go anywhere or do anything. She's knows about ''stranger danger'' and all that stuff.
I think at a certain age (not sure what age, depends on the circumstances) you have to give them a little freedom.

I guess i just think it's a shame that everyone is so fearful of everyone else.
People doing good things for people are so often overlooked, the bad gets the limelight because it's more ''newsworthy''.

Living life in fear just doesn't seem much of a life to me.
Not saying i don't take any sort of precautions for me and even more so for my kids, but i'm not going to let the possibility of something bad happening ruin my life.

Sorry, not all of that was directed specifically at you Sharon :)

Sharon - posted on 03/24/2010

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The picture of our local pedophile is posted on our schools' front doors.

Last year a van drove around with two men in it. They tried TWICE in my area to grab girls from the bus stops. They later moved to into town to try it.

Our local border patrol monitored crossing areas have alerts daily to look out for this or that missing child.

Once I followed home by a strange man - I had to run to a neighbors house for safety and he only left the area when the sirens came close. The neighbor saw him hiding behind bushes and cars and strolling past the house. Trying to see inside or waiting, she wasn't sure. I was about 10 or 12 & walking with a girl friend who hid with me.

One time I was followed while hiking on a mountain trail. I went to strangers for help. I sat in their RV while it rained outside and he sat on a ridge overlooking the parked RVs. There were covered picnic areas all over but this guy sat in the rain - out of reach and identification - in a cold mountain rain. He sat there for 30 minutes. The old couple were just freaked and didn't have a cellphone. Finally the old guy went to another RV that had a young man in it with his parents he went up on the ridge to see what the guy wanted. The guy bolted. The other family drove me back to the trail head where my friends were waiting. I was 16.

The white van made it to the news but only for the incidents in town. Nothing else did. Then there are the incidents that have happened to friends over the years. One was molested by her uncle. A family thing but he also molested their neighbors' little girl.

We keep guns. We hunt. We also eat what is shot. We also have predators that stalk our yard and they are on 4 legs, not two. Mostly they're after my duck & chickens but they have attacked children and larger pets. A number of my neighbors have lost their pets and we've lost over 60 birds total to these predators.

Our property is fenced, our yard is fenced. We know where our children are at all times.

I don't think we're paranoid, but we don't take chances. I think anyone who blows off child predators is nuts. But its not my kid out there wandering unwatched and uncared for.

Cathelijn - posted on 03/24/2010

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yeah don't even get me started on the government. This whole Recession Bullshit makes me sick as well.
What are we meant to do all sit in our houses and spend no money?? In my opinion It is a normal thing to happen every few years otherwise how big can one economy grow? I was really frustrated last year when everytime you turned on the TV or read a news paper all you saw was that we were in a credit crunch... BLEGH

and don't even get me started on GLOBALWARMING...

Seriously I DONT CARE!!

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2010

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I think you're spot on there Cat.
The media (and governments) seem to WANT us to live in fear......to keep us down maybe? I don't know.
That's one of the main reasons i hardly ever watch the news, it's NEVER anything good or positive.

Cathelijn - posted on 03/24/2010

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Definitly people are paranoid. But a lot of it has to do with the MEDIA.

When do you hear about good things happening? All you ever hear is about a dogs attacking children, not about the hunderd thousand dogs that already live safely with families.



Or you hear about people getting sick because of eating one or another but what about all the billion people that eat the same shit every day?



Like Jo said I really don't have the energy to worry about these things, I live my life I treat others the way I would like to be treated.

No worries be happy :-))

Lindsay - posted on 03/24/2010

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I try to not be an overly paranoid person but I admit sometimes it gets the best of me. I'm working on it though. Just last week I let the kids play outside by theirself. We live rurally so we are not in a neighborhood setting. It was a beautiful day but I had housework to catch up on. I told them where they could go (we live on 5 acres) and I cracked the window and glaced out to check on them every few minutes. They had a blast and I got something done. It was such a relief.



I don't think I would use the nanny cam or anything like that. one reason is that my kids are old enough to tell me if they weren't happy with something and also that anyone that watches them, I know well. There's really no hiring out on a sitter. It's friends and family that I know well and trust.



As for the rest, I'm fairly laid back and do my best to use common sense! =)

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2010

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Glad i'm not the only one who thinks some people are a little paranoid!
I was getting paranoid that i wasn't worrying enough! hahaha.

I just genuinely don't think that the ''bad'' people are more vast in numbers than the ''good''. I think the majority of people ARE good.
As someone else pointed out, i don't have the time or inclination to worry about the ''what if's''.

The food thing really does drive me mental, if i listened to every ''study'' about which food now may cause cancer or something, i'd never eat again!!!

The only ''trouble'' i've ever really encountered is being flashed at........numerous times! That was because i lived in a road where the easiest route to it was through a park! I knew them all by the time we moved.....would wave hello to them! haha

Rosie - posted on 03/24/2010

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i'm more terrified of chihuahuas than pit bulls. i was relentlessly chased by one when i was younger whenever i went to go get the mail. those things are vicious!! lol!!

?? - posted on 03/24/2010

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I have a vicious 7 inch tall 6lb chihuahua... if ya get her going she'll make your ear drums bleed with her bark and make you wonder if the house actually does have gremlins... lmao but that's about it. She's not like most chihuahua's though that bark and bark and bark endlessly, she only barks until you address her. She does bark at anyone that comes in the yard though, so she's more like a doorbell... rather than a deterant lol

Jenny - posted on 03/24/2010

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Now, now let's leave the pitbulls out of this lol. I have two of the big slobbery dogs. Maybe that's why I feel so safe =). They are not aggressive though and I have had people they don't know come in my house without even a bark. I guess they are like the burgler alarm sticker on the house with no alarm.

?? - posted on 03/24/2010

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Maybe it's a Canadian thing lol I refuse to give into it too. Obviously, I take the necessary safety precautions to keep myself, my family and my property safe, but I certainly don't have GUNS in my house or a nasty ass pitbull tied up outside the door ready to attack. I look both ways before I cross the street and I smile and wave to the people that walk or drive by. I just don't have the extra energy to worry about all the 'what ifs', I have enough real things going on in life that need my attention that I just can't be bothered with the bogus maybe's and possibilities.

Jocelyn - posted on 03/24/2010

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I agree with Jenny; we (society) have definitely become too paranoid. But I refuse to give in!! I live in a medium sized town and I walk alone at night. When I go to the city I ride the C-train *gasp* alone! My friend and I were even picked up off the side of 17th ave (a huge party street in the centre of the city) at 3 am by a total stranger because we had no where to go. Good people DO exist!!! They just get over shadowed by the few horrible people...

Rosie - posted on 03/24/2010

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definitely feel we are paranoid. if you have no reason to be in fear than i feel it's unnecessary to keep a gun. where i live crime rarely happens, my property has never been vandalized or stolen, and i have never been attacked. now if you go to the city that my town is a suburb of, and go into one particular neighborhood-i don't blame anyone for not wanting to walk around at night, or keeping a gun. i think child abductions have frightened us immensely. i do admit i'm a little paranoid to let my kids go outside by themselves, but i still let them do it simply to not give in to a unsubstatiated fear. i have no reason to believe my kids will be abducted, if it was common in my area i would think differently.
the nanny cam i think is a good idea. not just to see if they are abusing your child, but if they are watching your child the way you want, and are paying them to do. like not plopping them in front of the tv, or something.
food, just seems crazy to me. i eat what i want. the hormonal effects of soy come when you eat soy for every meal, over long period of time. if i want soy everynow and then, that's a good thing. another thing i've heard that's bad for you is regular cow milk from all the hormones that they put in the cows. i havn't educated myself on that so i can't fully make a valid argument, but i guess i'm stubborn and don't feel any change with myself so i don't think there is. if i wash off fruits and veggies i'm okay with that as well.
if we access the situation and determine whether or not there is any need for fear, than make judgements accordingly i think that is the best.

Jenny - posted on 03/24/2010

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I do too and I refuse to give in to it. I live right downtown in my city in a single family house. I walk alone at night with my head held high and look people right in the eye with a smile as I walk by. You what happens? They smile back. And I have never once had anyone try to enter or vandalise my property.



Peopel keep waiting for the police to get out there and round up all the bad guys. I'm sorry to say it doesn't work that way. If you want to feel safe, get out there and make yourself feel safe.

Sarah - posted on 03/24/2010

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I thought Bowling for Columbine was really interesting.
It just seems like so many people spend their lives living in fear these days.
I think it's a great shame.

Jenny - posted on 03/24/2010

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I think Bowling for Columbine illustrated the point nicley. Keep the citizens in fear, build their cities behind walls and get them to spend, spend, spend. If the citizens are busy accusing each of being the bad guy, the bad guy gets away with a shit load of stuff behind the scenes. It's a smokescreen.

Dana - posted on 03/24/2010

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What? Are you directing this at me because of my posts over time? You think I'm crazy don't you. Just say it if you want Sarah, no need for making me "read between the lines". Ugh.



Yes.

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