Worried Mom = Worried Kids: 6 Ways to Avoid Passing on Anxiety

Moms have a lot on their plates, especially those who juggle family life with professional careers. These responsibilities add meaning and joy to life, but they can also cause chronic stress. If you’re a mom who struggles with anxiety, you may also worry about passing along your anxious traits to your kids. Implement these six strategies to prevent this from happening.

1. Get Your Own Anxiety Under Control

Parenthood is all about setting an example, whether good or bad. You can drastically reduce your children’s chances of developing anxiety by treating your own. By seeing an experienced anxiety therapist, you can learn helpful skills for controlling anxiety. Then, you will model a calm attitude that just might rub off on your kids.

2. Teach Your Kids How to Manage Stress

Take advantage of the new skills you pick up in counseling and share them with your kids when you get home. Techniques like deep breathing and thinking about their favorite places can help your kids relax when they are stressed out. Plus, other exercises like journaling and taking note of what went well throughout each day may help your kids learn to cope with stressful events and develop a more positive outlook.

3. Live Mindfully

Anxiety is often described as worry about future outcomes. This means that you can naturally minimize the anxiety you (and your kids) feel by focusing more on the present moment. Practice mindfulness when doing daily activities such as driving, washing the dishes, or drinking your morning coffee. Turn off anxious thoughts by focusing completely on what you’re doing in the here and now.

4. Encourage Communication

Sometimes, all it takes is a listening ear for kids to vent their stresses or work through problems. Maintain open communication with your kids. Explain to them that you experience anxiety sometimes and they are welcome to talk to you if they ever feel anxious.

5. Learn to Say “No”

Are your obligations adding meaning and value to your life or just making you stressed? Go through your list of responsibilities and carefully evaluate each one. Can you cut back, delegate, or simply say “no” to some of these tasks? Removing the extra weight from your schedule may also relieve your mind of anxiety.

6. Be Solution-Focused

A great way to help your kids avoid anxiety is teaching them to be effective problem-solvers. Stop dwelling on all the future possibilities. Instead, whenever you notice yourself worrying, challenge yourself to search for a solution that you can take immediate action on. For example, if your kid is stressed about a math test, help them create a study schedule that allows them to prepare for the test and feel more in control.

Everyone feels stressed sometimes. Don’t get down on yourself for being a little stressed out in front of your children. Stress can even be good for them at times because it helps them to adapt and grow. The key is to deal with stress and anxiety effectively.

In therapy, I can help you cultivate skills that help you manage anxiety and minimize the chances of you passing it on to your kids.

To learn more about anxiety counseling and how it can help you help your kids…

Sources: https://childmind.org/article/how-to-avoid-passing-anxiety-on-to-your-kids/, http://www.parents.com/baby/new-parent/emotions/anxious-parent/, https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/why-we-worry/201207/have-you-taught-your-kids-worry-3

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