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Ways parents can exacerbate children's anxiety

Ways parents can exacerbate children’s anxiety

December 20 | By Rachael

Parenting methods around the globe focus on three major goals, i.e., securing the child’s future, preparing him or her to face difficult life situations, and transmitting cultural values. From talking about the best and worst part of life to delivering essential elements necessary for a beautiful future, parents tremendously influence the development of their children.

Parents, who allow their children to deal with everyday stressors by offering emotional and practical support, help in building their resilience level and stress-coping mechanisms. However, any kind of overindulgence by parents can manifest into disastrous forms in later years in children. Over parenting can rob children of learning the way to take up responsibilities and fight the challenges of life. Moreover, it increase the risk of developing childhood anxiety disorders.

Although parental involvement is necessary for developing a positive outlook toward life in a child, overindulgence can curtail a child’s freedom to regulate his or her emotions and actions that can further lead to a range of negative outcomes. Such children are more likely to exhibit the signs of anxiety and depression when their parents provide meager space to express their emotions and actions.

Therefore, the ability of the children to regulate their feelings and emotions vary depending on their parents. While children whose parents provide support but are less controlling have lower levels of anxiety, those growing in a highly controlled environment need to learn the way to acclimatize themselves to stressful circumstances.

Parents reinforce children’s anxiety through overindulgence and critical behavior

Most parents tend to correlate their child’s anxiety with their personal afflictions and tribulations. Although it is natural for parents to overreact to their children’s anxiety, parental anxiety, subsequently, can affect their children negatively. Rather than alleviating their distress, it can further create a vicious cycle of feeding each other’s fears, worries and anxieties.

Numerous research have shown that parental anxiety is not the sole reason behind a child’s anxiety. Certain behaviors and attitudes that parents adopt to interact with their anxious child, such as rejection, negligence, a higher level of criticism, etc., can be relatively far more responsible for causing the issues of development and can contribute to a greater level of anxiety in him or her.  However, it is possible for parents to effectively prevent the worsening of their children’s anxiety. Below are some of the dos and don’ts that parents can adopt for the healthy upbringing of their children:

  • Avoiding overinvolvement: Parent’s involvement in their children’s life, or assisting them during their early phase, is linked with the development of positive social outlook, better academic performance, firm emotional health and stronger relationship with peers. However, excessive intrusion can lead to anxiety, decreased satisfaction with life, lower levels of perceived autonomy, reduced level of competence and inability to get along with other people. Therefore, parents need to strike a balance between overindulgence and negligence to ensure their children learn the way to handle their emotions and struggles of life.
  • Teaching ways to grapple situations: Any sort of encouragement to children at the cost of a negative outcome and by sharing unrealistic examples can cause emotional impairment during their later years. Instead, parents should focus on preparing them to grapple with any kind of situation and fight any form of odds. This can help them in becoming determined individuals.
  • Refraining from negativity: During the developmental stage, a child endures a multitude of emotional changes. Just like the tender bamboo plant that can be adjusted to any shape, the mental state of a growing child is highly impressionable in nature. As a result, children mirror the things they learn from their parents and environment. Any kind of criticism, rejection, emotional punishment or any form of negative remarks about the child can suppress his or her mental growth. Therefore, children should be encouraged and supported emotionally. Parents should reward their children whenever they display good work and treat every mistake as a learning opportunity.
  • Giving wings to children: Despite being young, parents should instill the concept of freedom in their children. Hence, they should be given space to exercise their freedom. Moreover, explaining about the strategies that can effectively manage stress or anxiety can help children in understanding about anxiety disorders and alleviating them. This will also assist them in overcoming their fears related to anxiety.

If you notice a young one struggling with the symptoms of anxiety or any other mental issue, connect with the Anxiety Treatment Help to connect to the best anxiety disorders treatment centers in Texas specialized in delivering evidence-based intervention plans. Call at our 24/7 helpline 866-487-5015 or chat online with a representative to get more information.

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