Risk Management: Being My Kid’s Bodyguard

20 months.

Anytime I’ve ever heard another parent say “I just let him out of my sight for one second…” it never turns out to be a delightful story.

So as to prevent myself from ever saying that phrase, it’s simple:

I never let my son out of my sight for one second.

Obviously, he goes to daycare during the day and he sleeps in his own bedroom at night.

But what I mean is that as long as he and I are in the same room or as long as he’s with me out in public, I am the kid’s bodyguard.

I believe that all of us as human beings were born with a nature that causes us to want to, by default, make destructive decisions.

No parent ever has to teach their child to lie or to be disobedient.

While we also have a nature that causes us to want to be good and help others, we still are often driven towards destruction in our thoughts which lead to actions.

Likewise, I know my son will run straight for the cars in the street or into the crowd at the store unless I physically restrain him from doing so.

My verbal warnings aren’t yet enough for my toddler son.

He is all but handcuffed to me because at this point, I can’t trust him to keep himself from hurting himself.

Not to mention that as a father of a son, I’m acutely aware of the fact that a boy’s chance of surviving to adulthood is a lot less than a girl’s.

Mark J. Penn, in his book, Microtrends, explains it this way, in regards to statistics done here in America:

“There are about 90,000 more boys born every year than girls, setting up a favorable dating ratio. But by the time those kids turn 18, the sex ratio has shifted a full point the other way to 51 to 49, because more boys die in puberty than girls. Researchers call it a “testosterone storm,” which causes more deaths among boys from car accidents, homicides, suicides, and drownings.”

I don’t mean to be morbid or grandiose, but I think about that. I should.

Whenever I’m with my son, even in a seemingly safe environment, in my head I have to constantly be thinking, “What’s the worst that could happen right now?

Simple risk management.

Because sure enough, the moment I don’t ask myself that would be the day I would find out.

I’m not sure if I really am an overprotective dad or not.

After seeing these pictures of how I let my son play with big wooden stick, I bet some readers out there are actually thinking the opposite about me.

But that’s part of the paradox:

I’m his dad. I’m supposed to encourage his adventurous spirit. And I really like that part of my job as a dad.

Hey, I want to have fun too.

As long as it’s not too much fun.

(Kids, don’t try this at home. Unless your dad is there watching you through the camera as he encourages your adventurous spirit.)


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  1. by Duaslelt

    On August 5, 2012 at 11:28 pm

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  2. by Kim

    On August 6, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I was more thinking why you didn’t move when he came at said camera, and presumably your head, with the stick…

    Boys have a MUCH more self destructive sense of curiosity, most certainly. I almost laughed when you said he never leaves you sight, but then remembered hes your only. Unfortunately my son had an older sister that would spot for him. The second I went to the bathroom, or clean up her spilled cup, he was instantly somewhere, or in something he shouldn’t be, and his sister was ccackling. Tricking Mommy was their favorite game.

  3. by Xavier

    On August 7, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Hey Nick,
    It’s good to see that there are other bodyguard dads out there!
    I’m considered overprotective and caring with my son!
    This said my 2 year old never went to the ER or even got the flue! He is still a happy boy though!
    On point you didn’t raise is that we have been boys too! Even though I don’t remember much from that period of my life, I’ve heard enough to be be careful! I was a fearless kid and pretty agile! Still I hurt my self enough and want my son to avoyd that but also do crazy stunts… Under supervision!
    As I tell my wife, I’m not strangeling him! I’m guiding him and keeping a safety net under him so he can discover without harm!
    Chears & Thx

  4. by dealuser

    On August 8, 2012 at 6:40 pm

    interest fact about more boys die in puberty than girls.