Before I had kids, I never thought I’d childproof my home. I thought childproofing was taking an easy way out and a lazy way to parent. I found it obnoxious when I’d go over to someone’s house and see them fight with a cupboard lock or a doorknob cover. Instead of teaching a child that something is dangerous or not for them, you just lock it up?
Now that I have a very active and curious toddler, I have a different perspective on things. While I try to teach him that cleaning supplies in the cupboard under the kitchen sink are not for him, I’ll admit that he still wants to get the dish soap out. Even though he knows that he shouldn’t be touching the DVD player or wireless router in our entertainment center, he still wants to open up the glass doors and touch all of the electronics with the blinking lights. When I have a candle burning in the bathroom and I tell him it’s hot and he shouldn’t touch, he still wants to see the tiny flame, point to it, and say, “hot! hot!”
So I now have a lock on my cupboards, doorknob covers on certain doors, and baby gates up in certain doorways. Is it because I’m a lazy parent? Is it because I don’t watch my kids? Not at all. It’s about their safety. It’s because I’ve learned that it takes Cameron 20 seconds to open five doors and end up somewhere he shouldn’t be. It’s because I know that if I don’t keep him away from certain things, he could get hurt without even trying.
The doorknob covers still annoy me to no end, but at least I have some peace of mind with them on.
So if you find yourself childproofing your house when you never imagined you would, give yourself a break. You’re not a bad parent. In fact, you’re a better one because you’re keeping your kids safe.