This post on how to be a protective parent has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All stories, photos, and opinions are my own. Some of the advice in this post is from my experience working in the child protection field and some is just what I’ve learned in the past six years as a parent. It is not a professional opinion, it’s my own. #IAmProtective #CollectiveBias
Some may call me an overprotective parent and some may say I’m not protective enough. I’ve learned over the past six years that I’m just enough of a protective parent to keep my boy safe and happy and that’s what makes my heart smile.
How to Be a Protective Parent Today
Many of you know that I work in the child protection field as my day job. I review cases all day every day and I read about the things that happen when people are abusive, neglectful, or just not protective enough of their children. Accidents happen, y’all, and it’s just so devastating. Yes, it’s true that a lot of accidents could have been prevented, but it’s also true that even the most protective parent can slip up or make a bad choice and the result could be tragic. I have a few tips today for you on how to be a protective parent today!
1. Slow Down and Reduce Stress
We all know that stress can do very damaging things to our bodies and living a busy lifestyle leads to accidents happening and things getting overlooked. Slow down and enjoy your child while s/he is young. If your mind is on your child and not on the 27 other tasks you could be doing, you are going to see what is going on around you.
We live on a very busy street. The speed limit is 40mph and people never go that “slow”. One day Benjamin and I were getting ready to get in the car and he decided he was going to throw nuts from our trees into the street and watch the cars pop them as they drove by. I didn’t like the idea, but he insisted on throwing just a few. He was doing fine, not throwing them at the cars, but just before they came down the road and then laughing when the nuts were busted open. Until one nut didn’t quite make it into the road. He threw it and it landed just on the side of road…and he took off to pick it up. I screamed at the top of my lungs and nearly passed out and he stopped in his tracks…and then a car sped by and I thought the world was going to come to an end. The neighbor across the street was outside and even he thought he was going to have a heart attack from my blood-curdling scream, but in that instant, I could just see it. It was like slow motion, Benjamin running toward the road and I could hear the car coming. Just after that, he was in the car with me, Howard was getting in the car, and I just lost it and bawled my eyes out for a good five minutes. Needless to say, Benjamin doesn’t go near the road anymore unless I’m with him. It can still be challenging because his best friend is across the street, but he knows not to ever cross the street unless I’m with him.
2. Listen and Learn
Your child is learning a lot right now and s/he wants to share that new information with you. Listen to what they have to say and you will not only be amused, but learn a lot about your child and their personality and learning style.
My boy has been “discovering” new things lately and he can’t wait to tell us things like “cows are made out of steaks” and “chocolate milk comes from chocolate cows”. He is learning how to deduce new things from what he already knows and our lines of communication are open for when he learns the big stuff like where babies come from…yikes!
Protecting this little man is my life’s duty and what I live for every day, but just protecting him from the dangers of the regular world is not enough. I have to start thinking of protecting his future as well. I have to think about when he turns 16 and wants a car, when he turns 18 and wants to go off to college, and even though I don’t want to think about it, I have to think about what he would do if something were to happen to Howard and me.
3. Plan ahead
My little man is only in the first grade, but we have to start planning now for his future if we’re going to see him be successful someday.
I was 30 years old when my mom passed away. My sisters and I had each other for support, but that was about it. My mom didn’t have any money and none of us had thought about something like this happening so early in our lives. We weren’t prepared emotionally, much less financially, for planning a funeral, dealing with her house, and buying a burial plot and headstone. It was difficult. I remember the night before we removed life support from my mom. We were all sitting in a hotel room feeling overwhelmed and finally my older sister called a funeral home and said something like “where do we even start” and “where do we get the money”. Of course, they talked us through it and we went to a bank for a loan and all was taken care of for my mom. It took us five years to pay for that funeral, but the life lesson will last us forever.
I don’t want my son to have to worry about something like this in the future with either of us so I need to start planning now. I’ve been looking online lately and found that Protective Insurance really has a lot to offer in terms of helping me plan for my son’s future. They can help with planning such as Life Insurance, financial planning, college planning, retirement planning, and so much more. As I was looking through the site, I kept thinking “yes, I need that…and that…and that…”. There is so much more to planning for the future than I’ve already thought about!
Some of you might be reading this and thinking “I have a savings account”, but do you know what to do with it? I mean, at work, I have life insurance, but that is only for me and it is not very large. Howard doesn’t have anything with his work and he’s statistically more likely to die before me. And you all have read about our financial woes in the past. We definitely need the help there.
If any of this is ringing true for you and you are thinking, “what would I do in that situation”, then you should check out what Protective Insurance has available for you.
Now, Protective Insurance wants to know what are you protective of in your life. They are encouraging others to tell their story of protectiveness. Visit their I Am Protective site and share your story today!