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How to help your anxious child when you are struggling too?

Updated: Mar 3, 2023

Anxiety is a natural reaction to stress that brings various symptoms such as physical, emotional, cognitive, and so on. When parents experience anxiety, stress and worry regarding their role as parents, it is commonly referred to as 'parental anxiety'. This type of anxiety often leads parents to worry about their child's health, well-being, academic performance, timely achievement of milestones, and social life. Parental anxiety does not just affect parents with children of a certain age; it can occur in parents with children of any age.

Some of the symptoms of parental anxiety include:

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Restlessness

  • Excessive worry

  • Irritability

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Headaches

  • Stomach pain

  • Sore muscles

Some signs that parental anxiety includes are:

  • Recurring thoughts that something terrible might happen to their child.

  • Excessive worry about their child's well-being and stress over small problems related to their child.

  • Expressing excessive feelings of concern for their child to others.

  • Keeping their children away from relatively safe situations that may be dangerous.

Parental anxiety is a common and normal experience for many parents, especially those raising young children or teenagers. It's natural to worry about the well-being and safety of our children, but once overdone it becomes overwhelming and can impact our daily lives. If you are a parent struggling with anxiety, it is essential to remember that you are not alone and it can be improved.

Here are some hacks to deal with parental anxiety:

  • Identify the source of your anxiety: Take some time to think about what triggers your anxiety. Is it a specific event or situation, such as your child's safety when away from home, or is it a general sense of worry about your child's overall well-being? Read the pattern. Understanding the cause of your anxiety will help you develop more do’s and don’t to manage it.

  • Practice relaxation techniques: There are a number of relaxation techniques that can help reduce anxiety, such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation and mindfulness meditation. These techniques can help calm your mind and body so that you can manage your anxiety more easily. Sometimes soothing music and a light ambience can also free the anxiety. You just have to find your time from your busy calendar. It’s okay to be full of responsibilities but what is not okay is to exhaust yourself and forget about your self-care. Remember "Tum ho to sab hai, tum nahi to kuch bhi nahi".

  • Set realistic expectations: It's natural for parents to want the best for their children, but it's important to remember that no one is perfect and that it's okay if your child makes mistakes. Embrace the flaws, celebrate the failures and then try again. Don’t try to flip what is normal. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself or your child, and focus on teaching them to learn from their mistakes rather than striving for perfection. Always monitor the small progress once done. There is a saying, The days seem long but when compiled together it seems like the time flies away. Do not overdo anything.

  • Take care of yourself: It's important as a parent to prioritise your own physical and emotional well-being. Make sure you get enough sleep, eat healthy meals, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. By taking care of yourself, you can better manage your anxiety and be a more present and supportive parent to your child. Remember detoxing helps to start fresh and from scratch.

  • Seek support/professional help: We often consider not sharing our internal family matters with anyone. And why is that? It is because we fear “Log kya sochenge?”. Have you ever tried seeking help from an expert? An expert who has undergone these challenges and come out stronger and more successful? Lighten yourself up by talking to a parenting coach. They do give you a solution-oriented perspective. A therapist or counsellor can work with you to develop coping strategies and help you manage your anxiety.

Dealing with parental anxiety can be challenging, but it is possible. By identifying the cause of your anxiety, using relaxation techniques, seeking support, having realistic expectations, taking care of yourself, and seeking professional help when needed, you can learn to manage your anxiety and be a supportive and present parent to your child.

Are you dealing with parental anxiety and feeling excessive worry about your child or feeling anxious just in general? If yes, you can talk to our in-house parenting counsellors/coaches for free.

We wish you a happy parenthood!


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