Witnessing a parent in a state of anxiety can be unsettling for children. Kids look to their parents for information about how to interpret uncertain situations; if a parent seems consistently anxious and fearful, the child will determine that a variety of situations are unsafe. There is evidence that shows children of anxious parents are more likely to exhibit anxiety themselves, a probable combination of genetic risk factors and learned behaviors.
It’s natural for parents to worry. In fact, many parents have cornered the market on anxiety. The list is long: abduction, abuse, their child’s friendships, their grades, online threats like bullying and pornography, proper diet, getting enough exercise…and the list goes on.
In lots of cases anxiety paralyzes both parent and child. It can make children fearful and stifle their curiosity and development.
Parental worry limits children’s opportunities to indulge in healthy activities such as playing outside with friends or walking to school without being under a parent’s watchful eye. These kinds of restrictions prevent children from exploring their world, interacting with peers freely and learning to take chances and risks, as well as learning from their mistakes.
The problem of parental anxiety is so widespread that it has changed the landscape of raising children. A movement has sprung up called “free range parenting to combat the trend.
Help yourself and your family, by learning techniques to manage stress in a healthy way
What do you do when you struggle with fear and anxiety and you have to maintain the family and kids? It can be tough but there are ways to manage your fears and take care of your family at the same time. If you’re dealing with anxiety and start to notice your child exhibiting anxious behaviors, the first important thing is not to be consumed by guilt.
The second important thing to do is put in place strategies to help ensure that you do not pass your anxiety on to your kids. That means managing your own stress as effectively as possible, and helping your kids manage theirs.
It can be very difficult to maintain and communicate a sense of calm to your child when you are struggling to cope with your own anxiety. Seeking the services of a mental health professional can help you work through methods of stress management that will suit your specific needs. As you learn to tolerate stress, you will in turn be teaching your child—who takes cues from your behavior—how to cope with situations of uncertainty or doubt. You owe it to your family and kids to get well. Getting the help you need to battle fear and anxiety is very important and will help in your recovery. Admitting that you have a problem and getting help is the big step in getting better.
Trying to parent while struggling with your own mental health can be a challenge, but you don’t have to do it alone. There are people in your life who will step in when you feel overwhelmed, or even just offer words of support. Those people can be therapists, co-parents, or friends.
When taking care of the family, do not try to manage everything all at once. Get your spouse or somebody else to help do some of the work. One person cannot do everything. Share your responsibilities with your spouse if you can. Also learn to communicate with your spouse about who does what on a certain day. Remember that you are not alone. There are many people who deal with fear and anxiety and they manage to live normal lives. There is no reason why you can’t manage your anxiety.
You can also look for support on blogs, online forums, and social media so that you can connect with others with similar problems and not feel so alone. The most common theme amongst people is that they feel so alone. There is an old saying: a problem shared is a problem halved
Do not let your anxieties get the best of you. A technique that is very helpful is to have a list of positive statements that make you happy. Whenever you feel anxious and your taking care of the kids, get your list and read those statements.
The next time you become overwhelmed with fear and anxiety, remember that there is hope in overcoming your anxieties and depression. With some help, you will be able to find the answers to your fears. You just have to be patient and determine to get better.