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Overprotective Parent

Overprotective Parent

March 16, 2007 by  
Filed under Rob Conway

Is it possible to be an overprotective parent? It seems there is some arbitrary line from being a normally protective parent to being overprotective. I don’t know if I crossed that the other day when I took my 14 month old to the ER.

I was getting his bottle out of the fridge when I closed the door and noticed him screaming. Usually that means he just really wants his bottle really bad. Then I realized, to my horror, I had closed the door on his left thumb. And it was in the hinge part, not the soft rubbery part of the door. Immediately I opened it up and picked him up into my arms and held him while he whailed.

The first logical thing to do was to call my wife (she’s much better in these situations). I burst, “I think I broke Benjamin’s thumb!” There was silence. Usually that means I’m in trouble. This time, though, she spoke softly, ‘Well, you’d better take him to the ER and get it checked out.’

“The ER?!” I didn’t like the idea of sitting for hours with a screaming baby waiting to get an X-ray. But I quickly got him together and Aimee met me at the hospital.

We didn’t even have to check in when we walked in. A doctor happened to be available and looked at it right away. By this time, Benjamin was cooing and in a good mood (he likes car rides).

“Doesn’t look like there’s anything wrong with it,” the doctor said almost immediately. “Baby’s fingers are so small and mostly tissue, it’s really difficult to break, so I doubt there’s any damage,” he continued. I felt a little sheepish, as Ben was now playing with the doctor’s stethoscope.

“Are you sure?” I inquired. I just had to be sure the trip wasn’t for naught.

But in the end, I felt like an overprotective parent. Fortunately, my wife who is so understanding told me she was glad that I overreacted than find out later that something worse had happened.

What will I do when something really bad does happen?

Please help me feel better by sharing your “overprotective parent” stories. Just click the comments button below.


4 Responses to “Overprotective Parent”
  1. T.R. says:

    I am single, so take it with a grain a salt.

    You did the right thing. Just means that you will have the thought of “ER NOW!” when his next injury occours… Just think if you hadn’t taken him and something had been even more seriously wrong?

    Overprotective is putting Benjamin in a bubble and not letting him experience the stumbles and spills that teach us one of two things: 1) get better at something so you will grow and improve. 2) not to do something like that again. The bumps and bruises and scrapes are memories that terrify the parent but also bonds them with the child and lets them know you are a safe harbor.

  2. Stephen Isler says:

    Hi Rob:

    Althought I am not a parent of children, I am a 2nd grade teacher. Honestly, I don’t think you were being overprotective. The door hinge part of the door closed on his thumb. I would have done the same thing. Imagine what would have happened if you didn’t do anything and it was more serious? Always error on the side of caution, especialy when it comes to children.

    Kudos to you!

  3. Janet says:

    maybe a little overprotective – but you’ve heard how the 1st child gets everything sterilized and “by the book” and by the time you’re at child 3 or 4 they have to wrestle the pacifier away from the dog!

    Well, I’ve never gone that far, but with 7 year old twins and a teenager – the way they were raised is very different. Time is also a factor! With twins, your hands are ALWAYS full!

    Don’t worry about not being able to handle a real emergency, God is so faithful and gives us what we need to care for the little people He has entrusted into our care. He will “nudge” you into movement if you fall behind. My daughter broke her arm last year, falling off the monkey bars and it wasn’t until the next morning that we went to the doctor – the pain wasn’t that bad before then.

    The hospital had a really cool chart that I had never seen before – it showed faces with different expressions (showing level of pain) and the doc asked Katy to show him what her hurt felt like – he also recommended (as your child grows and is able to tell you what they feel) to have your child rate their pain from 1 -10 and anything over a 7 or 8 – call the doctor. That helps me alot with sore throats, stomachaches – things that a thermometer (or the lips of parent) can’t read.

    Just remember that you grow with them and you know your child best, don’t let the doctors push you around – you know when your child is in pain or sick. And know that God will be with you and your child throughout it all.

    In His Care,

  4. Christina says:

    Hey Rob,

    Good story, I don’t know if I have an overprotective story : ) But you’re right, better safe than sorry. Have a good week!

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