The Downside of Parenting: Fear

Imagine sending your 9-year-old to school only to be called by administrators a few hours later notifying you that your child had been sent to the hospital.

He didn’t fall off the monkey bars or have a science experiment blow up in his face; rather, he’s in the emergency room because he swallowed an unknown amount of cocaine.

Cocaine that was brought to school in a baggie by a 10-year-old boy.

Bullying, beatings, gun violence and drugs… in fourth grade. No wonder parents are choosing to homeschool their children now more than ever before.

The cocaine story is true. According to reports, a fourth grade boy in Washington, D.C. was charged with drug possession last week after allegedly bringing cocaine to school and sharing it with a bunch of his classmates.

All of the students who ingested the drug were hospitalized and later released. The boy who brought the cocaine to school has reportedly been placed in foster care along with a younger sibling. Meanwhile, the boy’s parents could face criminal charges.

A group of parents whose children are students at the school told local news reporters that they are “disgusted” by the incident and have vowed to find a new school to send their kids to next year.

In addition to anger, the parents expressed deep-seated fear. They’re afraid to send their kids back to the school because they feel as though their trust in school administrators has been violated. The moms and dads told reporters that the school’s principal and teachers should have been more vigilant, and in doing so the cocaine incident could have been prevented.

That’s the thing about becoming a parent: Along with the undying love you have for your child, there lies an undercurrent of perpetual worry and fear. From the minute that tiny bundle of sweetness is placed in your arms, passion and devotion forever mixes with fear and worry. You fear that they will get sick, get hurt or die or that you will die and they will be orphaned at a young age. You fear that they will become addicts, hurt others, be hurt by others, or feel suicidal. You fear that they will be the only kid in the class that doesn’t get invited to a so-and-so’s birthday, or the prom or the winter ball. You fear that they won’t make it through high school or get into college, or not want to go to college, or get a job, or not want to get a job.

So you lay awake at night worrying and worrying, and worrying… and wondering how it will all play out in the end.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.