10 Signs You Suffer From Parent Paranoia, Also Known As Parent-anoia

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August 19, 2011

For the most part, I would say I’m a pretty chill mom. Actually, you be the judge. I have my moments of paranoia, but doesn’t every mom? If you ask me, there are two things that truly terrify moms: their child getting hurt or someone taking their child. I think being cognizant of those things and parenting accordingly is what makes us good parents. But I was recently told that I sometimes take it too far. Actually, that I have parent-anoia.

Ouch. Maybe I do have parent-anoia, but I’d venture a guess and say I’m not alone. Here are 10 signs that apparently classify me as a paranoid parent:

1. The whole personalized backpack warning scared the crap out of me. When my doctor even hinted that my daughter’s adorable monogrammed backpack could make it easier for her to be abducted, I freaked out and told my little girl we could never take it outside again.

2. Me + the ER = BFFs. Earlier this summer my daughter fell down three stairs–that happened to be concrete–and had two nasty scratches on her face. My first thought when I heard what happened? “OMG, you might have a concussion. We have to go to the hospital!” 5 hours and $600  later, turns out she was fine.


3. Code name Pooch. Yes, for a while I tried using a code name with my daughter when we went outside together. Again, this stemmed from something my pediatrician told me. My daughter and I basically follow the same routine every day, so some random pedophile or child thief could easily learn our pattern and in turn my daughter’s name because I speak to her out loud. My doctor’s solution? Use a code name when in public, so if anyone other than me called my daughter by this name she’d know something was up. Like I said, I tried, but this one didn’t last very long.

4. You know those caves they have at some playgrounds? The ones kids can crawl through like a maze? Yeah, I don’t let my daughter go through them. Actually, I do, just not without me squatting right next to her squeezing through the tunnel. I know the chances are slim, but an abductor could theoretically be waiting in there to snatch up my kid.

5. I won’t vacation without my daughter. I also won’t let any loved one take her more than 2 states away. When her dad’s side of the family was planning a trip to Disney earlier this year, I just couldn’t wrap my head around her being in Florida while I was in New York. So I invited myself on the trip. Yup. Her dad and I are no longer together, but I spent an entire week with him–and his entire family–900 miles away from home.

6. I tried to talk my daughter out of getting on a rollercoaster. I know–it’s embarrassing. And in retrospect I really regret it. But that rollercoaster was so old and rickety and I honestly thought there was a good chance my little girl would get stuck on the track somewhere. Of course, she made it safely off the rollercoaster–and loved it–but the thought of her being on one of those rides still makes me queasy.

7. Confession: Part of the reason I still co-sleep with my daughter is because I’m terrified someone will kidnap her in the middle of the night. I know I will eventually have to get over it, but for right now she stays–in the bed–with me.

8. Given my… protective… ways, you would think I’d be all for child leashes. Turns out, I’m not, but it’s a very rare occasion to see my daughter and I walking down the street without holding hands. Tightly. On the even rarer occasions that I let her walk without holding my hand, she is already well-trained and knows that if she falls behind me or gets more than 5 paces in front of me, she will not have dessert that night. It’s kind of shameful to admit, but yes it’s true.

9. The open door policy. In addition to my habit of walking around my daughter naked, we also have an open door policy in my house. That means when anyone uses the bathroom, the door stays open. She can’t use the bathroom with the door closed and neither can I. I know it’s weird, but if she needs me or something happens to her I don’t want a closed door standing between us.

10. Please don’t report me to the authorities for this, but when I shower, I bring a bunch of my daughter’s toys in the bathroom so she can play in there while I’m showering. And yes, I lock the door. I just don’t think I could enjoy a shower knowing that my daughter was in another room… and that someone could get to her and me not know it until I was out of the shower. Scary.

Okay, so tell me. Am I taking it too far or just being a concerned, protective parent? Are there any unusual things you do in the spirit of keeping your kid safe? Share in the comments.

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