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When Does The Paranoia Begin?

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I didn’t have much of it as a teenager.  I don’t remember it in my twenties, and somewhere towards the end of my thirties it hit.

“What is she talking about,”  yes, yes, I hear you muttering to yourself.

It could have been the children that started it all off.  Actually, to say that it could have been the children is an understatement.   Most of us know it starts with a child, and then never ends.

As a teenager, I never thought about it.  I had no problems, and I had nobody trying to persuade me to try drugs, or alcohol, or lead me astray.   I rarely felt threatened by anything.  The news channels were a blur.  Rarely looked at, even more unlikely to be digested.  I was a child of the 60’s and 70’s.

The stupidity of my twenties when I used to walk home ALONE from nightclubs, in the early hours of the morning if my friends had pulled, or the taxi queue was so long that I would have been standing there for three or four hours.   I felt invincible, and I had to pass the local docks to get home.  I just never thought anything was going to happen to me.  I had enough to do worrying about the people who I trusted in life.  I never worried about strangers.

Fast forward to that lovely day when  children come into your life.  The paranoia ramps up to such a degree that you begin to doubt your sanity, you no longer feel free to say what you think, and strangers become a potential enemy.  In the papers, and on the news, you become more aware of the world around you, and what is happening. 

Even letting one of my sons go with a friends parent to their house, I fret that he might not be strapped in the car properly, that I don’t know enough about the parents, or that heaven forbid if there was a fire, they would grab their own and leave mine to fend for themselves.

Ok, that might be taking it too far, but I am struggling with the independence that children want, as I don’t believe mine are ready for it. 

Thinking more clearly though, are they ever ready for it, and are the mothers who can easily send their children outside without worrying about them really the sensible ones?

For now, I will chaperone my kids until they are 30, and married with 3 children of their own.

7 thoughts on “When Does The Paranoia Begin?

  1. Great post!

  2. I stood with my daughter at the school bus stop until she started high school. Then I watched through the window of the front door. Giving her the car keys was the hardest part. I wanted to install a nanny cam. I completely trust her…it’s the crazies out there I worry about. When we were kids, in the summer we’d leave the house after breakfast and show up for dinner. Of course, we were surrounded by cornfields and had no place to go other than each other’s houses and the mini-market in “town.” No one died. No one went missing. It was bliss, sometimes suffocating and restrictive, but safe.

    1. Yes, thats how I feel. When I grew up, I knew everyone and on the walk to school, there were loads of elderly people outside, all watching and keeping an eye on the kids as they got there. Nowadays, most people don’t know their neighbours, or more than their own street or block.

  3. I’m SO the same with the boys! They’re younger than your two, but with Max particularly, I worry that other people just can’t *be* with him the same way I am, you know?
    You’re so not alone though! x

    1. It seems to be the bane of parenthood I think. Once it happens, there’s no goin back lol.

  4. I think most mums can relate to parental paranoia, some more than others, but it’s part of the growing process for mums.

    How often, as a child/teenager, did you stop to consider how parents were feeling when you were walking home alone at nights, staying at friends or off on school trips? My only thought was, “I’m going to be in big trouble when I get home.”

    Parents worrying about their children is normal. So, what’s the next step?

    Children mature at different rates, possibly reflected in how ‘paranoid’ their parents have been. We worry about their schoolwork (or lack of), we worry about them finding work, we worry about them out driving, we worry about them getting drunk, we worry about what they are doing online and we worry about their choice of friends and, even, future partners.

    Well, I’m afraid to tell you that it gets worse – especially if you have any girls. Girls develop into women… women have children…

    From nearly 25 years of being a parent, my most nerve-racking, paranoid time (so far) was when daughter was giving birth. Most of us know what that involves and we all know it’s life-altering. Another paranoid parent has been born.

    I now reckon that preparing children for independence and parenthood are two of the most important factors in a parent’s life. But even after that, we’ll always wonder if we could have done it better.

    Good luck with the next phase. I’m sure you won’t really need to chaperone yours until they’re thirty. 🙂

    1. LOl, is such a strange experience. I don’t have girls, so I don’t have to worry about a girl giving birth, but with three boys, its the thought of girls fathers coming a knocking lol. Paranoia all round from the moment children are born I think.

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