“He’s going to flunk!” More Solutions for Parental Anxiety
We received some great feedback on our last newsletter, written in response to parental anxiety and futurizing. Thank you for your kind words and insightful comments!
Remember, futurizing happens when anxious, overwhelming thoughts lead to negative predictions for a child’s future.
Since this is such a common topic for parents, I want to share another useful strategy for coping with negative thoughts in a positive way.
Start by asking yourself this question…
What does my child need from me right now?
As you become more aware of futurizing thoughts, the next step is to try and bring your mind back to the present. Asking if there is anything you can do for your child right now helps put your feet back on the ground.
Here’s what this might look like:
Ashley has missed a lot of homework assignments lately, and we’re not even halfway through the school year…at this rate, she’ll flunk out of high school. College will never happen!
Instead of fast-forwarding to the future, what can this parent do for Ashley right now?
I know Ashley gets easily distracted and commits to too many things she doesn’t have time for. She needs some help making homework time a priority. I can get more information about the missing assignments, then sit down with Ashley and make a plan for how she can get her work done.
You can follow a similar process for yourself, too: What do I need right now?
Staying in the present and focusing on what you have control over is one good way to manage your anxiety. We also recommend The Calm Parent AM & PM to parents who futurize — it’s great for learning how to emotionally separate from your child’s behavior and think more rationally.
Be good to yourself — parenting is tough! We’re here to help support and guide you.
All the best,
Marissa S., Empowering Parents Coach
“The best way to know if you are parenting from fear vs. facts is to ask yourself if there is any evidence of what you are so worried about.” – Debbie Pincus, MS LMHC