I remember the day we brought my son home from the hospital over 10 years ago. I felt so ill equipped. I knew enough to get by, but not enough to feel confident and combat the parenting fears that were headed my way.
Even though I’ve been a mom for over decade to 2 biological kids and 10 foster kids, I realize that some of those initial fears have passed, but new ones have surfaced as my kids get older and have new experiences. The journey of parenting can bring waves of fear and anxiety at every stage.
Do you struggle with combating these common parenting fears? Here are some that parents wrestle with and ways to fight back:
Fear of Failure-
There are many studies, books, opinions, and blogs out there about the best way to parent. As a therapist, people ask me all the time for guidance on how to not fail as a parent. The truth is that we will fail sometimes. I know it’s hard to sit in, but it is true. None of us will be the perfect parent. All of us are walking through the journey of trial and error and seeing what works best for our unique little bundles of joy.
What works awesome for some, will not work for others. Our children are not clones of each other, so we have to parent them well in the unique ways they need it. Next time that internal voice tells you how you’re failing as a parent, agree that you are never going to be perfect, but that you’re going to learn from your mistakes.
Fear your kids won’t be ready for the world
Am I preparing them enough to be independent? Will I end up with a boomerang child who lives at home too long? One of the goals of parenting is helping your child get ready for the real world emotionally and physically. The good thing is that you have a big impact on whether or not this happens. Teaching your child life skills like cooking, cleaning, money management, and laundry will help him be prepared for some basics.
Remember it’s also important to teach your child to be ready for the real world emotionally. They need to know about love, healthy relationships, ways to communicate, that life isn’t always fair, and that sometimes they will experience rejection. Teaching and modeling this to them at young ages will help them grow in emotional intelligence.
Fear they will struggle and fail
This fear is a reality. Your child will struggle and fail at some point. But this doesn’t have to be something to fear. For most people the struggles in life make us stronger. Our difficult times refine us and help us learn hard, but necessary, life lessons. Yes, it’s hard to watch your child struggle, but comfort yourself with remembering the growth that will come from them going through hard times.
Fear they will get hurt
Heartache is another reality in life. Your kids are not immune to it. Kids will be mean. Breakups will happen. They won’t make everything they try out for. As parents we get to teach our child the coping skills they need to make it through these times. These parenting moments give you the chance to empathize and also educate your kids on ways to bounce back. It’s not about trying to stop them from feeling, but instead it’s about helping them work through the feelings in a healthy way.
Yes, these fears are realities for your kids, but it doesn’t mean you have to sit back and watch the train wreck happen. You get to be the comforting, empathetic, safe person for your child to turn to. Don’t just sit back and become overwhelmed and paralyzed by the fears and anxieties of parenting.
What are some fears you struggle with as a parent?