I have talked about this issue before but I have been seeing it come up a lot lately so I want to talk about it again. There seems to always be cases about parents leaving babies in a hot car and the poor child dies. I see so many parents pass judgement and even blame the parent for intentionally causing the death. The truth is, when you look at how the mind works, you can see how easy it is for this tragedy to take place.
Your subconscious mind is way more powerful than we like to admit. So many things in your daily life are done by “autopilot”. Take a moment to think about it. Getting dressed, eating, working, and even driving are just a few things that we do subconsciously. Once we have mastered a skill, our mind give the job to our subconscious to take care of because our conscious mind gets pretty tired, pretty quickly. If you can remember what it was like to learn how to drive, imagine driving like that every single time you got in the car. You would be exhausted by the time you got to your destination. Our subconscious mind runs programs to help us function.
Now I want you to try to think about something you do all the time and if you don’t do it one day, you feel a little off. Have you ever forgotten your cell phone? Do you still find yourself reaching for it or having these moments of “where is my phone?” You know consciously that you left it at home but you still run the program of having your phone. If you have ever been a stay at home parent, you might understand what it’s like to leave the house without the baby. It feels like you are forgetting something and you might even open the back door to get the baby out. This is all completely normal behavior.
Now let’s look at these cases of babies left in cars. Most of the time, the parent who has the kids that day does not usually have them at that time or to go to that place. I will use the example of the dad having to drop the baby off at daycare, when usually the mom does. Everyday this dad got up, get ready for work and drove to work. He made this his normal program and his subconscious mind is doing almost all of it. On this day, he has a big project at work. His conscious mind is stuck on worrying about the project. Does he have everything? Is he ready? How will the client react? He might even be rehearsing a presentation in his mind. Now his wife needs him to drop the baby off at daycare. He gets into the car and his autopilot kicks in. With his conscious mind being preoccupied, it is very easy for him to get to work and never realize he has the baby in the car.
I used this example because I know of an actual story where this happened. However, your conscious mind doesn’t even have to be preoccupied. Your subconscious mind can just be that strong and this could happen to you. I really hate when I see memes that make it sound like the news is suggesting that babies are not as important to you as your phone or briefcase. When the media suggests to “put something important by the baby” , it is not to suggest your baby is not important. Again this goes into your subconscious program. If you check for your phone, briefcase, lunch, etc when you get to work, you will check for it every day. If you are not used to having the baby with you, you will not check or the baby but you will check for your other things.
How can you prevent this tragedy? There are a ton of ways that you can prevent this from ever happening. Thinking “this will never happen to me”, is the wrong attitude and if you have a human mind, this CAN happen to you. Take precautions, better safe than sorry.
- Get into the habit of putting your phone or other item in the back
- When you get out of your car, look in the back seat. If you are expecting a child or planning on it, start doing this now. This will become autopilot before the baby is even born!
- Get an app or even just set your phone alarm to go off before your drive to work is over. This alarm can help you remember to check to see if you have the baby
There are other options but the best is to create a program of checking. Your subconscious mind is so powerful and it’s sole purpose is to serve you. All you have to do is create a program. Have a safe rest of the summer and please remember that this can happen to anyone!