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DH health and safety obssessed(38 Posts)
DH, affectionately known as MR H+S amongst friends and family, is driving me to the point of distraction. DS is 14 months, this is the list of things DH doesn't want him to do:
drink tap water (lead poisoning)
feed ducks (bird poo, possibly d+V)
walk around kitchen (electricution)
touch washing machine or dishwasher (see above)
touch plugs with safety covers on (see kitchen)
eat food not minced (choke)
come to bathroom with me (d+v again)
touch taps (burn. Even cold ones)
open drawers (finger trapping. We have all drawer handles removed in case of fall and head injury)
play with communal toys i.e. playgroups (germs)
walk around with stick from donughnut ring stacker toy (possible fall and pierce chest)
When I suggest that these are ridiculous he shoots me down saying that I have impaired judegment and I can't keep him safe (he has never had an injury on my watch apart from usual falls and bruises). Do I have impaired judgement? Whn DS and I are alone together (most of time) I flout these "rules". DS is obviously getting mixed messgaes. WWYD?
Your DH is being completely over the top. Did he have these sort of exaggerated concerns before you had your ds?
I think a trip to the GP is in order for your DH
It sounds as though he has some mental health issues that need addressing.
I know that sounds 'sarky' but it's not meant to.
The sooner he can sort himself out, the sooner your child can lead a normal life.
Please don't wait until it's too late...it's such a shame to see a child completely curtailed in that way.
He is BU. On pretty much all of these really!
All food must be minced - at 14 months? REALLY?! That's not going to help your DS, he has to learn how to chew food.
Does he really think he is going to get electrocuted by walking around the kitchen or touching appliances? That would be some seriously deadly appliances.
And if he isn't allowed to come to the loo with you, does that mean that he is unsupervised while you go to the toilet? Or are you supposed to cross your legs whenever he is out of the house!
How on earth is he going to cope with him going to school/nursery?
His fears seem quite over the top, and must be exhausting to all of you involved. Is he like this in other areas or just with regards to DC?
Sorry if that post sounded demeaning with anyone with MH issues - just think he's hopelessly OTT.
Your DH sounds a little overprotective. Does he have anxiety issues that need addressing?
And most of his concerns seem a little far-fetched.
Getting electrocuted just by being in the kitchen? Maybe if you flooded the floor, then fiddled some electric wires and dropped a live end in the water?
Your DS also needs to learn how to eat food that's not minced. He'll come across it sooner or later, after all. Surely it's better for him to learn how to handle it when you and your DH are around to supervise it?
And just how pointy is this doughnut ring stacker? All the ones I've seen have rounded ends. Your DS might get a nasty bruise if he fell on it, but I can't imagine one being pointy enough to impale a child.
You may already be aware of this, but water pipes aren't made of lead anymore, and haven't been for some time. You might have lead pipes if you live in an old house, but in this case, if you run the tap for a few minutes before filling the water glass, the water that's been sitting in the lead pipes will be flushed through and you'll have unleaded water. Also, not sure what your DH wants your DS to drink instead, but mineral waters aren't recommended for young children because they tend to have levels of natural salts that can overload young kidneys.
As someone whose DH works in H&S (and therefore is very "there is no such thing as an accident!) your DH is being unreasonable. Sounds to me like stress related OCD linked to your child - maybe the pressures of parenting?
He needs to speak to a GP.
You've just listed all my DS's favourite activities - I'm not joking!
Being overprotective is actually more likely to cause future problems. If there's a huge swathe of normal, everyday things that are not allowed to become part of his given, unconscious world, then he could struggle with having them introduced at a later stage, ie could give him eating issues, bird phobia, actually making him more accident-prone if he's not been allowed to explore things like using handles when he's in the soaking everything up without fear or judgement early stage of life.
My DS has been obsessed with opening and closing doors and gates since an early age. So I taught him exactly how to do everything he might need to do concerning all that and he has never had an accident, as opposed to overcautious friends whose Dc have trapped a finger or whatever on the one occasion they weren't hovering over them.
Above all, having a hugely anxious parent is really damaging to a child. Your Dh needs to sort himself out, not sacrifice normal and fun parts of your son's childhood just to make himself feel less worried.
The only one on the list that makes sense is the plug covers.
Uk plugs have a built in safety feature that the child safety cover over rides and it makes the socket dangerous. So dc's certainly shouldn't be anywhere near a plug socket fitted with a child safety cover, however the socket without one is perfectly safe.
Other than that I think he has problems that could lead to dc being terrified of everything
Has he ever said exactly what he means by impaired judgement?
If he lives in a germ free environment his immune system will never get used to whats out there and he will be more likely to get ill.
If he is never allowed to taek any risks he will never learn risk management for himself and will always put himself into dangerous situations.
Ask your husband if this is how he wants his son to grow up and yes it does sound like he has OCD or an underlying anxiety problem that is showing up in this way.
What does impaired judgement form you mean? Has he implied there will be consequences if you don't follow the list.
I don't mean that to sound like he will turn into an arsehole and beat the hell out of you but his anxiety level may rise so much at the thought he could become even more irrational.
If your husband doen't find a way to manage this then as your child grows and wants to experience life his anxiety will get worse and he may try to tighten his grip or have a breakdown get him some help now.
I think we can all understand the desire to keep our precious child safe from all harm. But in reality it's just not possible, and I agree with many posters above, in the long run you're likely to cause more issues with the level of over-protectiveness.
Maybe you could run through his concerns to try to put his mind at ease?
It doesn't really matter if children do get D&V - sure, it's not that nice, but it's only illness, they get better. Same with colds and things, really not the end of the world. PLus, it's not like germs are lurking constantly - my 2yo DS is determindly unhygenic, always licking trolleys, touching the loo, feeding birds and eating chunks of the bread at the same time, picking up anything gross/interesting and yet he's never (yet) had d or v - although I am sure he will at some point.
Again, learning to open drawers and doors safely is important. DS has trapped his fingers a couple of times and they cry but then they stop crying and are fine.
Eating minced food will mean that the correct muscles for speech won't develop. He needs chunks. Maybe your DH could learn exactly what to do in the event of choking - I did and it made me feel more comfortable.
Anyway, with the best will in the world, they will injure themselves however careful you are.
14 months is prime age for anxiety in parents I think as you basically have a moving/walking baby who has no fear and no idea of consequences. It does get better as they get a little older.
why I removed all our socket covers
Your husband sounds like he is struggling with the changes having a small person has brought. Has he always been a little OCD about things or is this a development since baby? Either way he does need help.
The only real gesture we took towards h&s was stair gates. As Ds is particularly curious and I don't want him to hurt himself. However I've shown him that the oven is hot, I repeatedly tell him not to do things because he will get hurt etc. my heart has been in my mouth at times with him running around and jumping off furniture. But I've had to swallow that fear and as a responsible parent, unless something is clearly stupidly dangerous, bumps and falls are a part of the learning process. Ds fell head first into a toy box from the back of the sofa once. His legs were waving in the air, I was pmsl and he was howling! Thankfully no harm done but he's not done it since.
Really, encourage him to seek help. See if he can be home perhaps for a hv visit as he may express all these concerns to them and they can help you by providing reasonable objections and solutions to counter them. If he refuses to seek help then I'm afraid I'd see it as a bigger picture of wanting overall control and would wonder where it would stop.
Your DH does need to get his issued addressed as it will only get worse over the next couple of years. What will he do when at 3 your DS is wanting to play in the play park on the climbing frame? What are you to do when he is toilet traing never use a public toilet? What if at the age of 5 he wants to he wants to go play on his own at a friends house?
We all want to keep our children safe and as a parent it is our job to help them learn to stay safe. Even my nearly 11 month old knows the AGA is hot and when in front of it holds her hand in front of it (not touching) and goes "oh oh" as any time she has come near it since learning to crawl we say "hot hot" given the chance they learn younger than we think.
My H and his family tend a little in this direction. But my H realises his tendancy - and that his own mother's nervous overprotectiveness didn't do him any favours. So he tries to self-correct to come round to my position of benign neglect.
His sister had stair gates up for a 4 year old FGS.
I'm sorry but your post has made me quite cross tbh.
Does he impose these rules and expect you to blindly follow them? Does he follow his own rules or does he just expect you to follow your Ds around all day?
What happens when DS starts school, will he try and impose the same rules on the teachers?
It really does seem like he's implying you are an unfit mother to me, your judgement is impaired? I would have hit the roof at that!
Have you tried a short sharp "don't be so bloody silly" when he starts, showing you are offended might pull him up a bit.
email him this link.
health and safety myths
He can have hours of endless fun.
No suggestions of how to help but a posdibly really stupid question - how do you open your drawers if all the handles have been removed?
Can you speak to your GP for advice? Maybe some cbt would be helpful for your dh? Has he always been this anxious?
Can you speak to your GP for advice? Maybe some cbt would be helpful for your dh? Has he always been this anxious?
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