As any parent knows, it’s impossible not to worry about your children no matter if they’re babies, toddlers, school-age, or even adults. It’s only natural to worry about your children. But there is a difference between being reasonably worried about things like safety, and becoming too much of a “worried parent” who finds it impossible to relax because of all the potential problems, physical and social and emotional that you imagine for your children. Thankfully, you don’t have to be a perpetually worried parent. It takes patience and effort, but there are ways you can reduce how much you unreasonably worry about your children.
Remember that you can’t be in control of everything:
You might try, but you can’t control everything that happens in your child’s life. Sometimes, they don’t feel like eating the nutritious meal you spent an hour making (to say nothing of all the time you spent researching a proper diet for a toddler) and would rather nibble on a white bread and peanut butter sandwich. Sometimes they might fall off their bike and scrape their knee, even if you’ve taught them how to ride their bike and told them to watch out for bumps in the road.
Leave the “what if scenarios” in the trash:
This is an all too common trap that parents fall into, especially for their first child. What if you leave them at grandmas and they get too close to grandmas cat and the cat scratches them? What if they go to school and they swing too high on the swing set and get hurt? What if they go to a slumber party and only eat popcorn and chips for dinner? There are endless “What if scenarios” that can make you feel worried and anxious, and if you want to be a less worried parent, you have to leave those “What if scenarios” where they belong: the trash.
This isn’t to say you can’t be reasonably cautious—always take safety precautions like covering up electrical sockets, keeping sharp objects up high, use locked cabinets for any chemicals, and so on—but you need to avoid spending your time constantly worrying about “what if” scenarios.
Journal your worries:
Writing can be a powerful tool. If you find yourself worried about every little thing with your child, it may be time to start writing down those worries in a journal. Write down what you’re worried about and how that makes you feel. If you can, try to figure out what exactly is causing your worries. You may be able to come up with resolutions to those worries once you have taken the time to chart them out and explore them further.
Talk to someone:
It’s natural for parents to be worried. One of the best ways to reduce your worries is to talk to someone who knows what you’re going through, whether it’s your own parents or a friend with children, who will understand how you’re feeling. These people can give you the advice and support you need to worry less and enjoy your child’s life more.