950 Shares

Are you looking for ways on how to overcome parental anxiety? You know, the wild questions that run through your head all day like:  “What if my child doesn’t keep up academically with the other kids? “What if my son doesn’t make the team? ” Or… “What if my daughter doesn’t fit in socially?

Have you ever been up all night googling your child’s issue, trying to fix the problem, and then hitting your child with the answer first thing the following morning?

My favorite (not) is severe parental anxiety regarding a child’s health. Ever thought, “What if my child gets hurt, gets a disease, or even dies?”

Perhaps these are just a few of the “what ifs” you have been thinking about lately as your kids grow and change. Let’s face it: as moms, we know a lot about how the world works. It is only natural to be concerned about safety, friends, grades, athletic performance, social life, etc.

But sooner or later, if you keep up the constant churning, it will become a big, bad habit of fear and anxiety. Once your child gets through a situation, another one will take its place.

Truthfully, the worry cycle is never-ending unless you make a concerted effort to stop ruminating about what “could” happen.

Check out these clues to see if you have a “worrying mom-brain” and how to fix it! You don’t have to be trapped inside your own drama that, most of the time, never happens.

Learn how to overcome parental anxiety before it destroys your relationship with your child.

What Is Parental Anxiety?

Severe parental anxiety is when a parent excessively worries about any and everything that could possibly go wrong and then passes those worries onto her child.

It is misplaced meditation focused on something you want to happen or fear of happening instead of trusting God to work through even the worst of situations.

Perhaps you have heard of “helicopter parents” who hover over their kids or “lawnmower” parents who are said to “mow down” every obstacle or person in their child’s way so they never experience problems or feel pain.

Sadly, these behaviors have a real impact on children. They cause kids to fear trying new things, they give up easily, or do not try at all because they fear failure or harm since they have never learned how to problem-solve.

Most likely, the root of all this anxiety comes from the parent not learning how to deal with conflict themselves, trust issue from the past, listening to the news, social media, your own childhood trauma, or tragic information from friends or family.

While it is true that there is a real need for caution and wisdom, we still have to push our kids to experience life and take risks, knowing that failure is just a part of learning and growing. This is how to overcome parental anxiety.

RELATED: Reversing the Moral Decline In America by Raising Kids Who Love God

How to Overcome Parental Anxiety: Scale to Rate Your Anxiety

Check out these severe parental anxiety symptoms. Identifying your feelings is the first thing to do when learning how to overcome parental anxiety.

This list may not encompass everything, but it is a good start.

1.  You are an overthinking parent. You run “potential situations” over and over in your head, fearing the worst every time. You ruminate about past situations.

2. You become irritable, short-tempered, or angry when you think something will happen.

3. You wallow in pain, complain, or become depressed due to the constant fear of the unknown.

4. You are overprotective. You don’t let your kids experience life, which keeps them from the best teacher of all–mistakes.

5.  You are controlling. You try to control every outcome, shielding your child from pain.

6. You avoid teaching responsibility. You prevent your child from taking responsibility for bad choices or feeling the consequences because you don’t want him to suffer.

See also  What to Say in a Parent-Teacher Conference: Powerful Mom Tips

7. You had your own childhood traumas and suffered. You fear your child going through the same thing, and mentally, you can’t do it a second time.

RELATED: Feeling like a Failure as a Parent? 6 Tips to Overcome

estranged from family book

Purchase your ebook or paperback on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

How to Overcome Parental Anxiety As a Mom

Here is how to overcome parental anxiety appropriately and calm your anxious heart. Check out these seven tips to manage overthinking and worrying about your child. Learn how to redirect your parental stress to more healthy activities.

1. Discovering the root cause is how to deal with parental anxiety

What is the root cause of your parental anxiety? Is it the news, social media, family, friends, memories of your childhood, etc.? Think hard about this. What can you do to minimize that input in your life?

Perhaps it is time to stop watching the news or spending so much time on social media. Additionally, consider taking a break from that friend who is always talking about how her child has accomplished…well, everything.

Worrying if your child is keeping up with the Joneses can be stressful. All that comparison can make a mom feel out of control.

If you don’t know what is causing your parental anxiety, pray and ask God to show you.

I have found that certain idols play into parental anxiety. When they become more important than God, you start controlling and manipulating to manage your child’s reputation and behavior.

If you want to know how to overcome parental anxiety, look at these idols and see if they are playing into your fears:

  • my ability to be in charge and in control over ___________
  • a high opinion of me and my child
  • a child’s love or certain behaviors from my child
  • ability to fix someone else
  • fear of child’s failure
  • fear of others talking about my child (approval)
  • overly protective, fear of safety, health, security
  • fear of child’s death

Dealing with these idols is how to overcome parental anxiety.

RELATED: Facts About Parenting: 3 Insider Secrets You Need to Know

2. Deal with past fears

Chances are your fear (idols) makes you upset about your child’s grades, friends, social status, athletic performance, safety, etc.

Deal with your fear by doing what you can to improve the situation (tutoring, lessons, play dates, medical attention), and then surrender the rest to God.  Acknowledge that you do not have the power to control or fix the rest.

Many times, our own childhood traumas are triggered when we see our kids going through some of the same things we experienced years ago. Perhaps our parents didn’t handle it well. They controlled too.

It is essential to identify these childhood hurts, forgive, and deal with them before they get mixed up with your kid’s pain.

I’m sure you have heard stories of mothers who “took care” of their daughters’ enemies. Yeah, I bet they were triggered by their own childhood traumas. Ya think? This is not how to overcome parental anxiety!

3.  Prayer is how to overcome parental anxiety

If you want to know how to overcome parental anxiety, then pray!

Yes, it’s time to get down on your knees and ask God to intervene. (It takes time, so be patient.) Instead of wallowing in parental anxiety, do something about it. Don’t just sit by and watch things happen without a fight.

This is the single best thing when learning how to overcome parental anxiety! The devil will tell you it’s a waste of time. It’s a HUGE lie.

When I first started praying, I used Stormie O’Martin’s book The Power of a Praying Parent to help kickstart my prayer life. (I still use it!)

You can take the prayer at the end of each chapter in Stormie’s book and insert your child’s name in it. Or go to the Bible and insert your child’s name directly into scripture verses. I suggest starting with Psalms or Proverbs.

See also  Parenting Preschoolers: 10 Tips to Be An Awesome Mom

To simplify things, you can get scripture cards already made for you with all the “do not fear” verses at your fingertips. Easy peasy! Pray them over you and your kids. (look below)

However you pray, remember that you are releasing the fear (idols) to God and trusting Him to work in your situation.

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done; then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ. – Philippians 4:6-7

RELATED: How to Pray for Your Child: 6 Tips to Pray In Your War Room (really pray)

do not fear scripture cards pdf

Get your FREE “DO NOT FEAR” SCRIPTURE CARDS PDF to help you combat fear.

4.  Believe the truth

Remind yourself of this truth: God loves your kids more than you do. You can trust Him.

Kids learn from their mistakes. Sometimes, a “field trip” is the only way to get to a stubborn heart.

Saving them from every problem will only hurt them in the long run. (Helicopter parent) Continue to tell yourself that they need to feel the consequences of their actions. This is tough love.

For instance, allow your kids to feel the pain of a forgotten lunch or homework assignment, the consequence of skipping chores, or not coming home on time.

On the flip side, remember to encourage them to try new things that may be risky but are within the normal bounds of childhood behavior (sports, new friendships, skills, travel, mission trips, trying out for a part, etc.).

This verse reminds us of God’s love. Remembering this is how to overcome parental anxiety

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.  – Romans 8:38-39

RELATED: Positive Parenting Tips: 6 Things Parents Do To Have Successful Teens

5. Exercise/deep breathing/music is how to overcome parental anxiety

Start moving. Get on a treadmill, bike, or whatever increases your heart rate. This will help with all that restless energy keeping you up at night. Try deep breathing, meditation (on God), or stretching.

Movement is how to overcome parental anxiety. It is a natural way to deal with stress.

Extra tip: I have found listening to worship music or “fear not” meditation on YouTube incredibly helpful when I can’t sleep or need comfort during the day.

6. Give yourself grace

If you want to overcome parental anxiety, it is essential to give yourself grace for the hard days.

Forgive yourself and move forward if you have been in the saving mode for years.

Most of the time, rescuing comes from a place of love with porous boundaries. (Co-dependency) No parent wants to watch their child suffer.

It takes a strong stomach to let your child fail an assignment, go without lunch, or be grounded for the weekend.

For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it Hebrews 12:11 

i am declarations

Get your FREE “I AM” DECLARATIONS to help you discover who you are in Christ. Included is an “I AM’ alphabet game to do with your kids.

7. Surrender is how to overcome parental anxiety

If you want to calm yourself as an anxious parent, you are going to have to make a conscious effort to trust God. It is a choice you make daily.

FYI: It doesn’t come naturally! 

Realize that control is an unhealthy parenting habit that is easy to fall into when fearful. Realize you will never be able to control everything, and it will destroy your relationship while you are trying.

See also  The Best Gratitude Activity to Do with Your Teen

Anxious parenting can affect your relationship with your child and can even lead to depression and anxiety symptoms in your kids.

Let go of the worry not only for your sake but also for the sake of your child. More importantly, if you model trust in God, you will set an excellent example for your child also to trust God.

This is how to overcome parental anxiety.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. —Proverbs 3: 5-6

RELATED: How to Stop Living in Fear: 7 Ways to Overcome a Fear-Based Life

Pin it for later!

how to overcome parental anxiety; flowers, and scripture cards in the background

How Do I Stop Worrying About My Child So Much?

Do you ever wonder if you will ever learn how to deal with parental anxiety?

I have found that worry is more of a management issue, kinda like the whack-a-mole game.

When it rears its ugly head, I have to whack it back down and choose to surrender.  I look at my list of idols and identify what has triggered me. Then, I surrender my part to God again and ask God for wisdom on what to do or not do.

In the meantime, the healthiest thing you can do is encourage your children to learn from their mistakes, face the outcomes, and resolve their own problems. This approach allows you to avoid hovering, excessive involvement, and constant concern about your kids. Ultimately, it will help you become a calmer and more collected parent while you deal with your issues.

Did you learn how to overcome parental anxiety? Leave a comment below. 

Are You Struggling to Have a Healthy Marriage? Do You Want to Change Your Spouse?

Get Marriage Interrupted: How to Deal with Unexpected Conflict as a Couple and Stay in Love on Amazon or any digital platform. This book is filled with both humorous and impactful insights for anyone experiencing marriage conflict.

Included is biblical advice to help couples develop new behaviors and strengthen their marriage with healthy boundaries. With over 30 years of marriage experience, there are practical tips to not only overcome old patterns of behavior but also rekindle a marriage relationship that is rooted in God’s love.

family estrangement

Got Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!

Are you struggling with family issues that have resulted in a family rift or a family estrangement? Are you feeling a sense of shame, anger, or rejection?  Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store.

In it, I share my own experience of a seven-year estrangement from my Christian family and how we eventually reconciled. Furthermore, I provide practical advice to help you navigate your family issues.

Don’t let the pain of estrangement hold you back. Allow God to assist you in healing, no matter what has happened within your family. Remember, there is always hope to be found, even when things seem to be falling apart.

A farm scene with a farmhouse upside down sitting on a grass field with a lake in the background. Creating Family Memories Book

Get Creating Family Memories. This book will help you manage your family so that you have more time to be intentional with your kids. It includes a schedule, too. You can get it at your favorite digital bookstore.

Join the group Christian Family Living on Facebook

Continue the conversation on Facebook and join the Christian Family Living group. This is a place for Christian women to freely talk about parenting, marriage, faith, family, and culture. Being a Christian is hard! Let’s do it together. Most of all, a sense of humor is required. Got memes? Bring it on!

Follow Me on Pinterest!

There are Pinterest tips on Christian family living, marriage advice, spiritual growth, and mom life. Free Printables!

Author

Julie is a wife, mom, teacher, author, and blogger. She writes about Christian family living, marriage, parenting with a touch of humor.

73 Comments

  1. These tips are great and so practical. I will definitely pass these on to my friends who are parents. Anxiety seems to be something that parents commonly experience, but don’t often speak about. Thank you for sharing this.
    Tasha Marie x

  2. This is really good Julie! Very beautifully written and filled with practical ways to break free from fear and worry!

    • Thanks, Donna. I hope this post helps those who are struggling with parental anxiety. It is so easy to get trapped in worry and fear. God loves it when we trust Him even when it looks a little scary!

  3. This was rock solid awesome and so needed. Thank you for your ministry! I found you today via Debs ministry on FB . I shared your post in my Pinterest it was too good not too!

    • Susan, thanks for the share! I am so glad you visited my site. Parental anxiety is not an easy thing to deal with as a mom. Worry and fear plague us at the worst times! But we can overcome this with these biblical tips.

  4. Great advice! I think many of us can relate to the negative coping mechanisms, which just make things worse. I need to get some copies of Stormie Omaritan’s books.

  5. Being a man those things we don’t know. Blog like this brings awareness and help to build strong relationships during the tough times. Thank you.

    • I’m glad you can see that. You’re not quite as attached since you didn’t carry your child 9 months. Thanks for reading.

  6. When I consider who I am now, I always thank God and my mom, who had the patience to never lose hope on me. And I believe she is happy now. There is always something to learn from our parents for not giving up on us, but giving everything to God in prayer…

    • Thank goodness for mommas who don’t give up on us. I don’t think I could if I wanted to. Being a mom is just part of my nature. Thanks for your comment.

  7. I am so guilty of the bad coping behaviors you mentioned! Thank you for this post and the encouragement to not give up. Motherhood is tough, but so so worth it.

    • Katie, we all do it from time to time. It may be a little self-soothing until we can figure out a real solution. Thanks for your honesty.

  8. You have to walk through the pain, there’s no way around it. And take everything in prayer..not to social media or stress eating. (preaching to myself!)

    • Mary’s, I know how you feel. Seems like I pray last after nothing else works. I know it should be first thing. Thanks for your comment.

  9. You have to walk through the pain, there’s no way around it. And take everything in prayer..not to social media or stress eating. (preaching to myself!)

    • Marya, I know what you mean. I caught myself eating too much the other day and stopped to think about it . Thanks for reading.

  10. As a single mom, I had a lot of ups and downs and can definitely relate to these. I’m saving this article! My kids are both grown now and since experience is the best teacher, I’m gonna be an awesome mentor to them when it’s their turn. Oh, I will be the coolest grandma!

    • Felicia, yes, I bet you will be a cool grandma. Experience is the best teacher. I’ve got 2 adult children, too. I’ve learned a lot! Thanks for reading.

  11. This is great. I am the kind of mom that will push it all down and let it fester into depression. Thankfully, I have learned the cycle and can get out of it. A bit coping mechanism for me is exercise, specifically running. Getting outside and working hard is usually enough to clear my mind and make me feel better. Besides, if I can conquer some time or distance, I can do just about anything, Right?

    • Oh, yeah! I should have included excercise. I do that too. Helps deal with things. I’m gonna add that in. Thanks for that reminder, Sarah. I appreciate the comment.

  12. Number 5 (Don’t Give Up) is what I struggle with. I address my anger, pray, do what I feel is right to get the issues of my life (not just motherhood but also as a wife and entrepreneur) taken care of. Then when it all starts to crumble, I fall back into the vicious cycle of being angry and hurt and not knowing how I’m going to get out of the hole I’m in. Since starting my own business serving others, the cycle has been easier to break and keep me grounded. I hope other women/moms/wives can break that vicious cycle too!

    • Courtney, I’m so glad you recognize the issue. You are stretched in so many directions. I’m sure it’s hard not to get angry sometimes when you are feeling like there are not enough hours in the day. Thanks for reading.

  13. I love number 2, deal with your anger. Anger can terribly distract a whole days activity. In the long run, the problem remains unsolved. I learnt to contain my anger when I began to deeply engage in prayer. The anger just flashes and goes then life goes on. Thank you for the helpful tips.

    • Judith, I’m so glad you were able to deal with the anger. It is a hard thing to keep under control. Thanks for reading.

  14. Thanks for the great tip! It’s really helpful. I agree with don’t give up as you have endure it for so long. So why give up now?

  15. This is such an honest and reflective post. I like how you have identified bad and useful coping strategies and worked out whats best for you 🙂

    • Thanks, Rachel. It is good to get honest. I know there are others who do some of the same things I do. We all have short-term coping strategies that work for a little while until we can figure out how to fix things. Thanks for your comment.

  16. This was so beautifully written. I often feel this way, not just about my kid, but also about my job, husband, and life in general. I need to use some of these coping methods to get through the daily grind.

    • Melanie, I know how you feel. I find myself doing some of these things just to cope with everyday life. I appreciate your honesty. Thanks for your comment.

  17. Minakshi Baipai Reply

    I totally enjoyed reading your post. I can so much relate myself to this topic as I am mom. Just to let your emotions out. Such a great post!

    • I am so glad you found this topic relatable. I really try to talk to moms about things that are real and personal. Hope you find it helpful.
      Thanks for reading.

  18. passportofawanderwoman Reply

    Beautiful post. I am not a mom, but I am sure all moms go through this. Will share it with some moms I know.

    • That is so sweet. Thanks for sharing this post. I am touched you would take the time to do it.
      Thanks for reading and sharing.

  19. Thank you for sharing your journey. It’s so important that people really understand this issue.

    • Thanks, Holly. It sounds like you may not be a mom…I appreciate you reading it. Someday possibly. It is a hard job. Your heart walks outside of you every day.

  20. I totally enjoyed reading your post. I can so much relate myself to this topic as I am mom who always feel not ok to discuss my family topics to my friends. The strategies you mentioned are super helpful.

    • Yeah, I get it. You definitely don’t want to expose your kids to other people. It is good to get help if you can’t figure things out, though. Dealing with teens, especially, it difficult.
      Thanks for reading.

  21. Even though I am not a mom yet, I enjoyed reading what you as a mother goes through and what you do to cope! Thanks for the information, will share with my friends who are mothers.

    • Essi, thanks for sharing with other people. That is really sweet. Being a mom is really hard, but it is by far the best thing I have ever done. Definitely needs to be in the right time. Thanks for reading.

    • Jocelyn, thanks for commenting. Even though you are not a mom, I appreciate you taking the time to place yourself in another situation. Have a great day.

  22. I am not struggling with motherhood but I can definitely see why some moms do. It’s the most tiring and stressful job in the planet but the rewards are out of this place. I like your strategy to get free, all apart from praying, are thing I could see working for me if need be.

    • Akamatra, thanks for reading this. Yes, being the mom is definitely the most difficult thing on the planet, but it is worth it. I hope you will be open to prayer at some point in your life. I consider it to be the most powerful way to combat difficult situations.

  23. Mothers are very strong, they burn themselves to light the happiness of family and kids. I am sure this article will give them strength. I will share it with my Mommy friends!

    • Thanks for sharing it with your friends. I appreciate it. Being a mom is the best thing ever, but it is hard!

  24. I can see how so many mothers are actually having a hard time.. but it’s important for them to know that they are to alone and that there are ways to make it easier. Thanks for sharing, I am sure many will find this very useful.

    • Thank you for your comments. You are kind to write something since you are not a woman or a mom! Ha!
      Have a great day.

  25. This is so true. We as moms tend to bottle everything up and not realize it’s affecting us. I do that every once in a while and I find myself just crying while everyone is sleeping. Just to let my emotions out. Such a great post!

    • Arleene, isn’t that so true. I bottle up things and then they come out weird ways. Mostly I internalize it like you. It is hard not to have some sort of meltdown every once in a while. Thanks for reading.

  26. This is such a meaningful post with excellent advice. Any mom can relate to feeling overwhelmed to different degrees at various stages of motherhood. Thanks for your insights!

    • Shannon, that’s so true. Being a mom means growing through the different stages of your child. It was more physical in the younger years and more emotional in the older years.
      Thanks for reading.

  27. Excellent post and a topic that so needs to be discussed. I commend you for your honesty and for sharing realistic tools. Nice job!

    • Andrea, yes, I hope that my honesty reaches the heart of a mom. It is not easy and many times we feel alone. Thanks for your comment.

    • Thanks, mom! That’s so sweet of you to comment. That means a lot. I always appreciate the support. I am so proud of you for figuring out the comment section. Haha!

  28. Thank you for sharing the 5 ways to get free. I am a new parent and can already feel overwhelmed sometimes!

    • Ally, congratulations on the new addition. You have lots of fun things you will be experiencing over the years. Being a mom is the best job ever, but the hardest. Wait until your child comes home crying the first time. It never gets easier no matter how old they are. You still hurt when they do.
      Thanks for reading.

    • I really loved this post! It was so in-depth and so helpful! Thank you!! I am a mom and it can be hard not to worry about your children as we always want the best for them and love them so much! Thank you for this post!

  29. I really love your post. It is really helpful. My favorite method is to pray to the Lord, and ask for his strength. Thanks for sharing.

    • I am so glad it was helpful. Prayer is now the first thing I do instead of the last thing I do. Thanks for reading.

Write A Comment

950 Shares
Pin950
Share