Anxious Parenting: Are You Guilty Of It?

Anxious Parenting: Are You Guilty Of It? [EXPERT]
Family, Self

Does your child's behavior, the choices he or she makes, and fears about how he will turn out weigh you down, making you feel like it's all somehow a reflection on you?

When our kids don't act in ways we think they should, it's natural to feel anxious and responsible; we're only human. But, when we do this, we stop seeing the boundary between where we end and where our child begins. We become fused with them.

The more we parent them out of anxiety, the more we feel responsible for the choices they make, which leads to that panicked, out-of-control feeling and knee-jerk parenting. In effect, your parenting becomes about needing your child to behave so you can feel okay. This causes parents to hover, nag and get in their kid's box.

When your well-being lies in your child's hands, the more invested you'll become in him or her, and the more anxious you'll feel about his every move. 12 Dating Rules For Single Parents

The behavior of difficult, acting-out kids makes us all the more anxious. You're probably saying, "Can I be calm when my child is swearing at me, getting in trouble at school or constantly starting fights with siblings?" Of course these behaviors make us incredibly frustrated and overwhelmed, leaving us dangling at the end of our ropes, held on by a thread. But, believe it or not, there is a way to handle even acting-out behavior calmly. I know, because I help parents do it every day.

Remember, if you parent from an anxious place, you will have more anxious kids. Anxiety is contagious, but conversely, so is calm. You have to find a way to stay in control of yourself, even when your child is out of control and defiant. Parenting calmly will help your child calm down and will lead you to make better decisions on how to respond to these acting out behaviors and not give your kids anything to react to.

I want to make an important distinction here: What I don't mean by calm is that you should be stiff and robot-like, or afraid to tell your kids what you think and what you believe. Parents can get so caught up in doing it right that they end up hiding their real selves. What our children need is genuine, honest engagement. They need us to be separate people with our own thoughts that we communicate to them. Love Starts Within

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.