New survey reveals parents' biggest fears

Worries and fears are normal parts of being a parent. But what freaks us out the most?

By Kim Shiffman

New survey reveals parents' biggest fears

Photo: iStockphoto

When a newly pregnant friend recently confided in me that she was worried about having a miscarriage, about the results of her prenatal testing, and about whether her child would inherit her genetic autoimmune disease, I told her the same thing I tell all my pregnant friends: Get used to it. These might be your first parental worries, but they won't be your last. (Don't worry, I said it way nicer than that.) The fact is, worrying about your kids usually starts in pregnancy and pretty much never stops.

But that begs the question: After you have the baby, what do parents worry about most? The website recently polled parents across the US to find out. Here's what it found:

  • 30% of respondents fear their child will be hurt in an accident.
  • 25% of respondents fear someone will hurt or attack their child.
  • 23% of respondents fear their children won’t feel safe in the world.
  • 14% of respondents fear their kids will be kidnapped or abducted.
  • 8% of respondents fear their kids will be bullied.

Parents' biggest worries were different depending on their age.

  • Younger Millennial parents (18-24) were most concerned about their kids not feeling safe in the world.
  • Gen-X parents (24-44) worry most about their child being attacked.
  • Baby Boomers, the oldest parental group surveyed at aged 45-65, were most concerned about an accident. Maybe it's true that with age comes wisdom, since in accidents—most often car crashes—are the No. 1 cause of death for people ages 1-14 (as well as people ages 15-44).

Although worrying about your kids is totally normal, your worries shouldn't take over your life. If you are suffering from postpartum anxiety that you can't control, talk to your doctor, or a close friend, or anyone you trust. There's help available.