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When You Have Different Views On Safety!

When You Have Different Views On Safety!

(Feature photo courtesy of Nick Diamantidis)


You’re safety conscious and your partner definitely seems to be quite the opposite.

I assume it’s the same in most families…so how do you get round it and minimise the stress and irritation that can so often accompany situations?

In our household I’m the safety conscious one – I think it’s partly because I’m always right my personality and partly because I’ve been the primary carer since they were babies. My husband is a very hands on Dad and is very respectful of my nerves though he’s naturally much more relaxed than I am and mainly takes the view that ‘nothing’s going to happen’. I’m sure he’s more right than I give him credit for but I just couldn’t cope with the potential outcome if he was wrong and I hadn’t said anything.

The last thing I want to do is hinder the kids because I’m being ridiculous (highly possible).  Some things are obvious and some things are less so.

Whichever examples I might give to illustrate the sorts of things that set me into a twitchy spin, I know that about 50% of people reading this would agree with me and about 50% would agree with my husband (he’s still wrong you know).

So, I think in the event that there’s no stranger nearby to cast the winning vote, the specifics of the events probably don’t count in that it doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong. I personally think what matters is the cost : benefit ratio.

So, this narrows things down to three basic questions:

  1. What would it cost the ‘relaxed person’ to stop facilitating/allowing/creating situation ‘X’?
  2. What would it cost the person who was really struggling with situation ‘X’ to not step in or say something / make it stop?
  3. Which one is bigger?

Generally speaking I find the cost to the anxious person is higher compared to the cost of not continuing the situation…so what would be the right thing to do?

This obviously depends on the age of the child and what the consensus opinion is (I love getting a consensus as it keeps me under control!).  Everyone has their boundaries and limits for all sorts of things in their life and I believe that people shouldn’t willingly push each other over these if they know it will cause distress.

I think it comes down to a level or respect and empathy for another human being BUT I also think that sometimes we aren’t necessarily clear to our partners. We should spell it out and say ‘please can we not do this / stop this because it’s more than I’m comfortable with.’

Now I know that I’ve been too cautious over things in the past and that changes over time as they get older certainly.  There’s also a degree of trusting your child’s capabilities as they develop and learn new skills.

If it’s not about stopping the kids from eating mushrooms and berries in a field when they’re young, it’s going to be about learning to let them go when they go to parties by themselves and come back after you’ve gone to bed isn’t it?

That’s when the cost : benefit ratio changes and that will finish me off completely I expect…I’m saving for my therapy.



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1 comment

  • martyn
    May 29, 2015 AT 2:27 PM

    Good post. It’s interesting where a partnership finds that balance. I’m quite safety conscious in lots of ways especially compared to the boys mum and in others it’s the reverse. Even in Co parenting we understand and respect that and try to take it on board. I think you hit it on the head when you said that everyone has their limits etc and it’s within those boundaries that the different awareness comes in to know when you’re pushing a person up against it. #bigfatlinky

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