Parents, whether they are about to have their first child, or have already had several, will always worry. It’s in their nature, and it makes sense; they want their child to be happy, healthy, experience as many opportunities in life as possible, and they want to be able to keep their children safe all the time.
Having children is a wonderful thing for those who choose to do it, but it is fraught with difficulties and can be stressful too. The worries that parents give themselves because of their various fears don’t help the situation, and can even cause them more stress than they would ever have to think about normally.
This is why, although parenting fears are important and taking care of your children is essential, it is also important to understand how to get over these fears. If you don’t, you’ll be limiting your children (and yourself) in life, rather than allowing them to discover their own personalities and dreams. Read on to find out what the biggest parenting fears are and how to get over them (to a point, at least) so that everyone can be happy and live their best lives.
Missing Out On Opportunities
One of the fears that many parents have is that their children will miss out on the opportunities that surround them. There is a feeling that they need to try – and ideally succeed at – every single one of these opportunities that are presented to them if they are to be successful. This is why parents can be seen as ‘pushy’ or ‘controlling’ when they sign their little ones up to every class they can, and when they insist on that child joining in with after school activities and clubs, even when the child has no interest in chess or band or pottery or karate or anything else.
The problem is, the more a child is made to do, the less they will like it. They will be much more likely to be overwhelmed and frustrated at all the different things they have going on in their lives and the lack of time to do what really interests them, especially if it means having to miss out on days out with their parents, sleepovers with their friends, or simply playing with their own toys or relaxing with a good book.
The answer is to discuss all of these opportunities with the child and to ensure that you don’t force them to do anything they don’t want to do, as tempting as it might be and even if you can see the benefits that doing so would bring. They have to make up their own minds, and they have to have downtime too. The right balance needs to be struck.
Being Unable To Keep Them Safe
It’s a primal fear to worry that you will be unable to keep your children safe from harm. The idea that they could be hurt in any way is devastating and is often enough to keep parents awake at night. However, as long as you are taking care of your child in the right way, you are doing all you can. By keeping them away from imagined dangers (not real ones – if the danger is real then of course the child should be kept safe), you are restricting their lives and they won’t be able to learn all the useful life skills they will need as they get older.
It’s important to stay as tuned into your child as possible so that if they become sick or develop a condition, they can be tested quickly and a diagnosis confirmed. But remember; if they are ill, that’s not your fault. If they develop any of the traits for boys and girls with autism, that’s not your fault. Helping them if they do develop these issues is crucial, but you can’t stay awake worrying about something that cannot be changed.
Concern Over Their Friends
Most children are pretty good at making friends, and they seem to do it without any issues at all. They will walk up to another child in the playground and ask to be their friend and that’s it; a friendship has been made.
Yet as children get older, this friendship model can change, and you might worry that your child is hanging around with ‘the wrong crowd’. This is a big fear that many parents have, because as much as you can do at home, when they are out with others and away from you, you have lost a lot of control.
The truth is, your children will always make friends and will always want to be with them, at least from time to time. At some point, you just have to trust that the work you have put in at home, the fact that you know your child is a good kid, is enough to help them pick the right friends. In most cases, that’s exactly what happens.