Worrying about your kids is natural and quite normal. No matter how old they get, you’ll always be on guard to protect them from every type of threat- ensuring they live a healthy and happy life.
However, parenting becomes challenging if your child gets sick or suffers from any physical or mental disorder. You can’t help but worry about the well-being of your child constantly. Such situations further lead to parental anxiety.
What Is Parental Anxiety?
Parental anxiety occurs when stress about the well-being of your child intensifies. Even in normal circumstances, you unconsciously start to think about negative scenarios. By dwelling on these thoughts, many parents impose restrictions on their children.
For instance, some parents do not allow their children to go near the swimming pool as they are afraid of kids drowning. Likewise, some parents have separation anxiety when their kids go to school.
Understand that worrying about your child is fine. However, if the fear overtakes logical thinking, it is a matter of grave concern. If not paid attention on time, the symptoms can get worse. It will further become challenging to deal with anxiety.
What Are The Symptoms Of Parental Anxiety?
If you doubt having parental anxiety, it would be better to learn about the symptoms to validate the condition. The following situations can help you with it:
If you can relate to any of these situations, you might as well have parental anxiety:
- Shielding Or Avoidance Behavior: You try to become a shield for your kids by always protecting them from unfavorable situations. Or, you try to keep them away from every situation you “think or assume” to be fearful.
- Anxious Talk: You often find yourself talking about fearful things with your kids.
- Unlikely Scenario Seems Possible: You think about tragic and negative scenarios like kids drowning, school shootings, or falling off stairs.
- Spend Time Researching About Parenting: You tend to search for different things about parenting and child care to ensure your child lives the best life.
Understand that if you spend most of your time doing any of the things mentioned above, you should try to keep calm and get treatment.
What Are The Risk Factors Contributing To Anxiety?
Although nervousness is natural, the following situation can also be its cause:
- Shyness or behavioral inhibition in childhood.
- Personal medical history.
- Dwelling in stressful or negative surroundings.
- Physical conditions that aggravate nervousness.
How To Manage Parental Anxiety?
Worrying about your child helps in creating a safe and livable environment. However, anything in excess can become harmful. Therefore, if you have parent anxiety, you must learn to manage it. Here’s how you can do it:
- Acknowledge Your Fears
First things first, you need to accept the fact that you are fearful. You need to understand that every unlikely and negative scenario clouding your mind is nothing more than an illusion. Acknowledging your fears will help you look at the situation from different perspectives.
Suppose you are constantly worried about school bullying or bus delays. In that case, you can also talk to school administrators or other kids’ parents to keep your mind at ease. Remember that “facts can combat fear.”
- Try To Conquer Your Fears
Once you have acknowledged your fears, it is time for you to conquer them. Numerous studies have shown that “exposure therapy” is an effective measure of anxiety management. This therapy involves experiencing things that you are afraid of.
No! It does mean that you should let your kid in the swimming pool get over the fear of drowning. Instead, it means you can teach your child how to swim. So that even if you are not around to supervise, you can be stress-free.
- Take Care Of Your Physical And Mental Health
If you are physically and mentally fit and healthy, you can take better care of your child. Therefore, you must eat well and exercise regularly. Paying attention to health and wellness will help reduce stress and improve self-esteem and mood.
In fact, you can also use health and wellness products such as essential oil or CBD cream for pain or stress. Natural and plant-based ingredients present in these products are good for dealing with other anxiety symptoms such as insomnia, muscle stiffness, and inflammation.
Thus, when your body is relaxed and your mind is calmed, you’ll be able to manage your responsibilities in a much better way.
- Get Professional Help
Another thing that you can do is to seek professional help. Depending upon the severity of your condition, they might recommend medication or cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Studies have shown that regular therapy sessions help ease the symptoms to a great extent.
Furthermore, doctors can also guide you about what you should do or how you should react to a negative situation.
Note: If you feel that your stress affects your child, you can also take them with you for therapies.
- Talk To Fellow Parents
Talking to someone who can relate to your situation can also help you stay calm and think logically. Thus, you should express your honest emotions and fears to fellow parents. It will help you manage your thoughts, plus fellow parents can also share their concerns with you. Believe it or not, commiserating with other parents will help you immensely.
If you are not comfortable sharing your thoughts with other parents, you can talk to your own parents. They have been at your place. So they understand what you are going through and help you with it.
- Always Remember To Breathe
Last but not least, if you ever find yourself overthinking or overwhelmed with emotions, remember to take long, deep breaths. Try to cease your thoughts and count to 10. Think about positive things and happy memories with your child. It will give you more strength to deal with the prevailing scenarios.
If it seems feasible, you can also try to meditate to replace your anxious thoughts with positive ones.
To Sum It All Up!
Worrying about your kids begins as soon as the confirmation of pregnancy. And it is good to be worried, as this way you’ll take better care of your child. But, it is essential to know when your stress is overpowering you. So, take proper care of yourself and, if necessary, take professional guidance.
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to sign up for my newsletter - and get your copy of the Autism Family Guide for free.
Latest posts by Kori (see all)
- All the Great Benefits of Getting a Puppy for Neurodivergent Children - December 6, 2022