Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Children's Fears

Continuing with the family theme this week - I've noticed a change in Bubby recently. When 374 joined the department, Bubby was five. Everything was fun and exciting to Bubby - Daddy's a firefighter and that's really cool! He didn't yet understand the danger issue with Daddy being a firefighter. Until now.

Recently Bubby has started worrying when 374 is out on a call. He gets very antsy and asks a lot more questions. It's not unusual to find him sitting next to the scanner listening. Night time is harder for him than if it were during the day. If 374 is gone for bedtime the anxiety he faces seems to be a bit worse.

Over the summer, 374 was taken to the hospital from a fire scene by ambulance. The kids weren't aware of it at the time, but that night when we got back from the hospital and picked the kids up from the sitter it was apparent that he had been to the hospital. He knew Daddy had been on a call, and put two and two together. He began asking questions, and we explained things to him in an age appropriate and need to know manner.

A few months prior to that incident, he was at a big hotel fire where we had to drop him off to meet his department on scene. Bubby saw how big the fire was. It did not resonate with me at the time how him having a visual of the scene would affect him. He had never been to an actual working scene before. 374 had drove him passed place where he had put fires out before, but not ever a working scene. Looking back on things, this is when his worry set in. Bubby was a nervous wreck all day that day, and actually burst into tears when 374 returned to the station and climbed out of the truck. I remember him running across the truck bay and enveloping him in a bear hug.

I don't ever get worked up or nervous in front of the kids. I hide my anxiety from them and deal with things by keeping busy around the house. I'm trying to do the same with Bubby. Our neighbor across the street is also a fireman on the department with 374 and he and his wife have a daughter our childrens' age. The three of them like to play together while the dads are gone - especially when the weather is nice. They are usually out in the front yards waving to the parade of trucks as they go out, which usually leads to the duration of the call spent playing in the yard.

Like I mentioned previously - if that call is a long one, or runs over into bedtime  that's where I'm having a hard time. No matter how much I tell him that Daddy is trained to stay safe and that he's out helping someone who needs assistance, it seems nothing will do but Daddy himself.

The other night I came across a product on Pinterest from Huggs to Go. What?! Like you don't lose hours of your life on Pinterest  daily weekly too! It's a firefighter stuffed doll. The face has a clear pocket to place a picture of your firefighter. You can also purchase the recordable version where you can record a 10 second message that the kids can play back. I'm wondering if something like this - being able to hear Daddy's voice say goodnight, or say I love you will help. I think this might be what both our kids get in their Easter baskets this year. What do you think? Do any of you have one of these dolls?

Do you have an older child who worries about your firefighter while they are on shift or out on a call? What helps for your children to ease their fears or anxiety? Please leave your tips and advice in the comments below, I'd love to hear from you!!!

The photos scattered in this post are courtesy of Kristy, Danielle and Heather. Thank you ladies for sharing these photos for Family Week this week!


  1. My girls are two and four, and don't yet realize that what daddy does is dangerous. The oldest is quite the worrier, though, so I'm not looking forward to when she figures it out!

  2. Shared your link this evening! :) http://plusonetimeselevenmillion.blogspot.com/2013/01/life-between-tones.html

    1. Thanks so much Danielle! Thank you for sending in a pic to use!

  3. A daddy doll might be better. Hugahero.com I purchased from them when my brother passed. They take a full length photo of your hero and put it on fabric that will not wash out and turn it into a doll. Photo on the back some words on the front and back. Recorder if you want and a pocket for mementos. Highly recommend.