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parental anxiety

Parental Anxiety: 7 Ways to Stop Being An Anxious Parent

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Are you looking for ways to get free from parental anxiety? I can relate. There have been days in my life I hurt so badly for my children and no one knew. If you are like me, you are good at acting like everything is okay when it really isn’t okay.

Meanwhile, you continue through the motions, day after day, smiling and holding your head high like you have it all together.

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parental anxiety

The truth is down deep inside you know you don’t have it all together. In fact, you have turned into an anxious parent. You constantly wonder if you are being the best parent possible because there are problems you can’t solve.

In fact, you don’t even have a clue on how you are going to get through the next day without crumbling into pieces. You can’t stop worrying about your child who is either desperately hurting or not making good decisions. Or both.

You know if you start crying just a little, it may not stop. And you fear you will never be able to put yourself back together to function at a normal level if you let one tear drop from your eyes.

Sadly, you won’t tell anyone you have this terrible parental anxiety because you are either embarrassed or think no one will understand.

RELATED: The Ugly Truth About Shame, Embarrassment, and Guilt

Do Parents Ever Stop Worrying?

Do you ever wonder if there will be a day that you stop worrying?

When there is no one to talk to, you start thinking about it all the time. Mulling situations over and over again; trying to figure out a good solution.

It becomes a bad habit. One that is not easily broken.

If you want to stop worrying, you are going to have to make a conscious effort to let it go every day. And trust God. Granted, this is not easy. You may have to consciously work at it. Keep reading and see what to do.

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

7 Clues You Have Parental Anxiety

Here are a few things you may do when you are upset about something with your children. These coping behaviors work well for the short-term, but they are not a sustainable solution long-term. They are not ways to get free.

1.  Sit in front of the TV late at night and eat…a lot. And not carrots and celery.  

2. Become irritable, short-tempered, or angry.

3. Wallow in pain, complain, or become depressed.

4. Work. Stay so busy volunteering, or whatever to keep from thinking.

5. Run from the situation. Hope it all goes away.

6. Give up. Quit trying.

7. Addictions. 

Whatever is your way of coping-it all ends up at the same destination. A dead-end road. There is no substance or behavior that is going to fix the pain. In fact, what works best is to deal with it.

RELATED: When You Feel Like You Have Failed as a Parent

7  Ways to Get Free From Parental Anxiety

Here are some ways to get free and deal with your parental anxiety appropriately:

1. Acknowledge the pain and address it

Manage to eat (drink, shop, etc.) in a way that is balanced. Not out of control. If you do binge on that bag of potatoes chips-stop and ask what’s bothering you. Then try to find a way to discuss it and find a resolution.

The eating, drinking, etc. is a band-aid covering the pain. Once you deal with worrying about your child, the binging should die down.

RELATED: 5 Awesome Hacks to Get Rid of Self-Pity Once and For All

2. Deal With the Fear

Chances are there is a lot of fear that is making you upset about your child’s grades, friends, social status, or whatever. Deal with your fear by doing what you can to make the situation better, and then acknowledge that you do not have the power to fix the rest.

Many times our own childhood traumas are triggered when the same things happen to our kids. It is important to identify these hurts and deal with them before they get mixed up with our kid’s pain. Our kids are going to have a certain amount of suffering. We can’t protect them from everything.

Related: The 6 Best Secrets to Stop Living in Fear

3.  Start Praying

Instead of wallowing in pain or complaining, do something about it.

Start praying.

Get out of your head and release it to God.

I have used books such as Stormie O’Martin’s The Power of a Praying Parent as one of the ways to get free.

You can take the prayer at the end of each chapter and insert your child’s name. Another suggestion is to insert your child’s name directly into scripture verses.

When you pray, you are directly talking to God about the problems and laying it at His feet.

If you are powerless to change the circumstances, pray more not less. Eventually, God opens or closes the right doors. He delivers in His perfect time. Every time.

Related: How to Pray for Your Kids in Your War Room

4.  Stop Running

Stop yourself before you run away from a situation. Ask yourself if you are purposely too busy or if you are in denial. If you find you are running away, stop and deal with it.

Many parents are stuck in the “friend” mode with their kids. They don’t want to enforce consequences even though they know it is the right thing to do. They ignore their child’s bad behavior thinking it will go away.

Sadly, parents are shocked when bad behavior is still there years later. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always magically go away; sometimes it morphs into something worse.

RELATED: The Most Powerful Parenting Tips (from Successful Teens)

5. Exercise/Deep breathe

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

This will help calm your parental anxiety.

I like to listen to good worship music while I’m exercising. Hillsong is my favorite.

6. Give yourself grace

It is important to give yourself grace for the hard days. Don’t beat yourself up when things go wrong. No parent is perfect.

Forgive yourself and move forward.

God is a perfect parent, but He has a lot of imperfect children. Our kids have free will. We can’t control everything they do just like God doesn’t control everything we do.

7. Don’t give up

Don’t give up on your child! Many times God will show you a way through the situation. Other times you may need to get help if you are in over your head. This may mean going to a counselor, friend, or pastor for some solid advice.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Whatever you do, stay in there even though you are dealing with parental anxiety. Your child needs you to go the distance.

RELATED: Teacher Secrets to Help Get to Your Child’s Heart

Do Parents Ever Stop Worrying?

Worrying is a choice. If you want to break the habit, then start implementing these coping mechanisms. They are appropriate ways to get free from parental anxiety. I still use some of them even though my kids are now adults. I will never stop praying!

I have to remind myself every day that God is in charge. I can trust Him because He is good.

How do you deal with parental anxiety? Leave a comment below. 

Do You Have Family Problems? There is Help and Hope!

Are you experiencing family problems or even estranged? Are you feeling shame, anger, or rejection? Check out my book Estranged: Finding Hope When Your Family Falls Apart on Amazon or at your favorite digital store. 

This book not only talks about my seven-year estrangement from my Christian family, but it also gives solid tips to help you with your own family problems. Break free from your pain. Allow God to heal you no matter what has happened in your family of origin. There is hope when your family falls apart.

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Creating Family Memories Book

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

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67 thoughts on “Parental Anxiety: 7 Ways to Stop Being An Anxious Parent”

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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.

  4. 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!)

  5. 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!)

  6. 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!

  7. 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?

  8. 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!

    1. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 🙂

    1. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Minakshi Baipai

    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!

  13. passportofawanderwoman

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

  14. 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.

    1. 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.

  15. 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.

    1. 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.

  16. 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.

    1. 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.

  17. 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!

  18. 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.

  19. 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!

    1. 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.

    1. Virginia, I don’t know if you are a mom or if you want to be. It is the best thing ever, but definitely so hard when your heart walks outside of your body every day. Thanks for reading.

  20. 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!

    1. 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.

    1. 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.

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