Don’t Panic! Help for Parental Anxiety

Posted October 2, 2015 by

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It’s late. No matter how hard you try, sleep won’t come. Each time you close your eyes, your mind wanders…

He’s disorganized and unmotivated…how will he keep a job? He treats me like dirt…how could he possibly handle a relationship, or start a family?

…and the list goes on.

When battling behavior problems, it’s easy to think a child’s bad choices will lead to the worst possible outcome. This pattern of thinking can form a downward spiral – each negative thought growing bigger and more problematic than the last.

This is called futurizing. For parents, it can be one of the most destructive things you put yourself through. All the worry and stress pile up, and your energy starts to drain away – you become so focused on the future, you miss what’s happening in the present.

It’s very common for parents to futurize. My son is still a little guy, but I worry about him all the time! I understand your concern comes from wanting the best for your child. It’s important, however, to see the facts – not make predictions based on current behavior.

The greatest lessons come from moments of struggle and learning things the hard way. Kids will make poor choices, but that doesn’t mean things will always take a turn for the worst. Try and be good to yourself – parenting is hard work, and you’re doing great!

Ready to stop worrying and live in the now? We can help! Click here for five things you can start doing today.

Take care,

Rebecca W., Empowering Parents Coach
Learn more about 1-on-1 Coaching

“Anxiety is contagious, and so is calm.” – Debbie Pincus, Author of The Calm Parent AM & PM


Rebecca Wolfenden is a loving Momma to her son and a dedicated 1-on-1 Coach. She earned her degree in Social Work from West Virginia University and has been with Empowering Parents since 2011. Rebecca has experience working with children and families in home settings and schools, and has extensive practice working with people of all ages who have survived significant emotional and physical trauma.

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  1. old swimmer Report

    Your intro story was  right on. I’ve been worried about my boys for years. The oldest ,20, is anxious and depressed and ADHD. Countless IEPs,meds and psychology meetings later we are in a scarier boat. He sabotages opportunities. He is now working in a state-run internship which might lead too a good job. They, his psychologist and several social workers are trying to help him continue this. He just pushes back. He says he wants this and I believe him but if he continues as he is, they are not going to hire him. He has dropped out of high school, got a GED and then dropped out of community college. It seems impossible to help him when he won’t let me.

  2. Marva Cuthpert Report

    Excellent article.  Very much a need in our society these days.  Most children are angry and really do not understand their background or know their parents. Therefore, foster care, relatives, and care givers struggle to help them fine themselves to become a better person.  Help our children to learn how to control their lost of misfortune can be taxing.  Their must be a passion to help these confused, angry and distorted children of all ages.  Life is hard and they need to be taught how to survive or we will suffer another lost generation again.

  3. Regina Report

    Just this past weekend I told my 15 year old son about that weird funny not so good feeling in my stomach that he probably gets too when things seem overwhelming. I told him that the feeling comes from worrying about him and his grades which are not so good. He is in 9th grade and I fear that he will not graduate but I didn’t tell him that part. He confirmed that he DOES get that feeling too and told me that I don’t need to worry and that he is okay even though he knows he is barely passing his classes. He said “I got this mom”. I know that he still has a way to go so I can’t help but worry. I guess I just have to take a little step back right now and just step in when I see he needs it. It is so hard figuring out when he needs it. I thought a newborn was hard but this is way harder.

  4. jadensdad72 Report

    Definitely feeling this anxiety. My son told me yesterday that he in no way wants to be a part of “what i call a family”. I am remarried and my wife has 2 children from her previous marriage. I know blended families are hard, but this development has made me question whether im doing the right thing by my kid. What should my focus be? Am i supposed to let him go and hope he comes back around eventually? Or will that just breed more resentment on his part? Im so conflicted and really hurting inside. My sisters dont talk to my parents, and dont acknowledge them as parents at all, and this is something that has bothered me for years now. The last thing i wanted was for my only son to feel this way towards me. I dont want a fragmented relationship with my kid, but it seems that thats exactly where im already at.



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