No sex or marriage question is too embarrassing because it’s time to ask EmpowHer’s sexuality expert Dr. Marty Klein, anything.
Well, here is a few parenting questions now. “Dear Dr. Klein, we have a 5-year-old and my husband wants to turn off the baby monitor after all these years. I just can’t do it; I get nervous. I know I am being foolish, but I just can’t relax if I don’t know what our son is doing or how he is breathing or sleeping. What should we do?”
Dr. Marty Klein:
Oh, dear. Dr. Klein says that if the baby monitor is still on when the kid is 5, when are you going to turn it off? I mean, you are going to send it with him to college and say, “Listen, I want you to put this on when you go to sleep at college.” No seriously, this is actually a serious issue, and I really sympathize with any parent who fears for the safety of their child. I mean, what could be more serious than being concerned about your child’s safety?
On the other hand, on the other hand, being a parent requires nerves of steel. We have to let go of these little darlings more and more and more and more as they grow, and we can’t wait until they are 14 to do that. We have to start very early. We have to let them develop their own personalities, and we have to let them eat and sleep in ways that are comfortable for them. And what that means is, we have to be able to imagine that they are safe when we don’t know that for a fact.
We have to be able to keep that picture in our minds that we have done our job and now they are safe and just let it go. And, if you can learn from your husband how to be comfortable, that would be really great. If you can get away from a power struggle where he is calling you, you know, names about how anal-retentive you are and you are calling him names like, “You are a terrible father and you don’t care if our kid is dead or alive.”
If you can get away from that kind of power struggle and get more into a couple’s approach, which is, “Sweetheart, can you help me feel more comfortable about this?” I think that would be good, and I think it would be great to set a date on the calendar when you are going to not just shut the baby monitor, but put it in the garage or give it away; that’s a better idea.
Give it away, and while you are giving it away, let’s say you are going to bring it to the Salvation Army. Drop it off at the Salvation Army and then take yourselves out for a nice dinner and celebrate that your kid is healthy and old enough that you can get rid of the baby monitor and now you are going to start the next phase of your lives together as a family.