Reducing Fear and Worry
Parenting can be a tough job, especially when you know that you have to face small and big worries and fears that come with it. Dealing with your children’s problems can be quite confusing, and sometimes it can make you feel powerless. It is perfectly normal for parents to be worried about their children and to experience fear when their children are in challenging situations, such as a major transition or dealing with an illness. It is important to remember that all parents struggle with fear, worry and uncertainty.
The good news is that there are ways to reduce fear and worry when parenting. Below are some tips to help you reduce fear and worry when parenting.
Identify the Fear or Worry
The first step in reducing fear or worry is to identify what you are afraid or worried about. Are you worried about your child’s safety? Is there a large upcoming change or transition? Articulating exactly what you are afraid of or worried about can help you to better understand the root of your fear or worry and in turn, be better equipped to address and reduce it.
Explore the Possibilities
Rather than dwell on what could go wrong, explore the possibilities of how this situation could turn out for the best. Thinking about how your fears or worries could turn out positively can help to calm your nerves and minimize them. This can be especially helpful in situations when you don’t have control over the outcome, such as a medical diagnosis or the safety of your child at school.
Often times, it can be helpful to share your fears or worries with someone who can offer a listening ear. Encouraging conversations with family members and friends or even an outside professional, such as a therapist, can provide a sense of support. Talking to someone can help you process the feelings you are having and can also provide you with additional creative solutions to address your worries or fears.
Mindfulness is the practice of being present and in the moment. When fear or worry creeps in, try to practice mindfulness by focusing on slowing down your thoughts and body and consciously shifting your attention to the present moment. This can be done through deep breathing, repeating a phrase or mantra and being aware of your thoughts and feelings.
Acceptance can be a powerful tool in reducing fear and worry. Learning to accept uncertainty and being okay with not knowing the outcome can help to lessen the fear or worry. This can be difficult to do, but with practice, you can gradually come to accept the unknown and in doing so, reduce fear or worry.
Focus on Action
Rather than worrying, focus on taking actionable steps to address whatever it is that is causing the fear or worry. Identify what you can do in order to feel confident about the situation. This can involve researching options for your child or finding support resources in your community. Taking action can help to quell fears and worries, as it replaces ruminating with taking action.
Be Kind to Yourself
Lastly, be kind to yourself. Parenting can be tough and it is likely that you will experience fear and worry at some point. Remember to practice self-care and be gentle with yourself when fear or worry arises.
Fear and worry is a normal part of parenting, but it is possible to reduce fear and worry. By following the tips above, you can learn to manage fear and worry and be a better parent.