Single Parents: Worries & Concerns

Archived Q&A and Reviews

What is something happens to me and child is alone?

Oct 2003

Tonight after a difficult week of illness, and a strangely intense headache, an old fear reappears. What happens if I somehow lose consciousness (knocked myself out from a fall, passed out from extreme illness, etc etc) and my little boy is in the house alone? What if I'm knocked out and the house is on fire or there's an earthquake? What if a bad guy breaks in and knocks me out or worse? How will anyone know he's in danger? The door's still too hard to open on his own. How will he get out? Sure, sounds dramatic, but what if? Now that he's a big strong 3 1/2 year old he's almost ready to handle ''dial 911'' training, which is a relief since there hasn't been an answer to this dilemma for the last 3 1/2 years. What have other single parent's of young children come up with? I'm not looking for hand-holding on the worry element, more for the real strategies other single parents have cooked up. Thanks. Brynn

I think the fears you expressed are the same fears that all parents experience, single or married. Some of us are a bit more concerned (paranoid?! who me?) than others!. I'm the parent of a 4.5 yr old boy and I have talked to him from the get-go about what to do if ______ happens. I usually cover these lessons by weaving them into a story I tell or point out if the lesson appears in a story or show we're sharing. I make it come up in a very natural, non-threatening way.I will point out things like, ''She was so clever because she knew right what to do. She knew how to find help and she didn't panic and she didn't stop trying!'' I want him to become empowered by this knowledge. If we give our kids the tools and help them practice, they will learn how to react and how to get help. Two year olds have successfully used 911 to call for help!

I picked up a book recently called ''Safe Child'' and it is full of practical ideas, suggestions and fun excercises to practice with your kids. Hope this helps! Fellow worrier