Fort Wellness Counseling

What is Parental Anxiety? Coping Tips from a Therapist

Parental Anxiety

Every parent wants to shield their child from danger and keep them out of harm’s way. And of course, having children means coping with a multitude of stressors – hormonal changes, sleep deprivation, and a boatload of responsibilities. While most of us experience anxiety at some point or another — about 31% of us, specifically — parental anxiety explicitly involves worrying about our children. 

If you’re feeling sleep deprived, stressed about your home/work-life balance, or overly concerned about the well-being of your children, you might be struggling with parental anxiety. However, the good news is that a parental anxiety therapist (like those of us at Fort Wellness Counseling) can help.

Today’s blog post covers everything you need to know about parental anxiety Fort Worth. Stay tuned to learn what it is, which parental anxiety symptoms to watch for, and how to cope.

What Is Parental Anxiety?

Parental anxiety refers to anxiety that stems from being a parent or caregiver. Generally, it includes worrying about things like the child’s health, milestones, performance at school, and social life. Additionally, it doesn’t matter how old your children are; parental anxiety can affect anyone.

Signs and Symptoms

Unsure whether you’re experiencing parental anxiety? While general anxiety includes symptoms like restlessness, chronic worry, and/or trouble concentrating, parental anxiety looks like this:

  • Vocalizing feelings of worry or stress about your child (especially to your child)
  • Having persistent thoughts that something bad could happen to your child
  • Spending excessive time worrying over tiny details pertaining to your child
  • Avoiding putting your child in a relatively safe situation (because you think it’s harmful)

Tips for Managing Parental Anxiety

Parental anxiety can feel suffocating. If you (or a loved one) are struggling, our Fort Worth parental anxiety therapists recommend the following coping strategies:

Plan Ahead

Planning ahead (aka proactively solving the problem) eases symptoms of parental anxiety. And because it’s a task-oriented coping strategy, it’s one the most effective types of coping mechanisms. An example of planning ahead would be installing safety gates above the stairways in your home (particularly if you’re worried about your toddler falling down them). You could also list worst-case scenarios in a journal and brainstorm coping strategies to use if they arise.

Research Child Development

Self-efficacy is directly related to self-confidence. That’s why bolstering your belief in your parental abilities reduces anxiety. One of the best ways to feel confident about parenting is to better your understanding of child development. If you don’t know where to begin, plenty of resources are available online. Additionally, you can speak with a child development specialist or therapist.

Is It Really Parental Anxiety? Uncover The Root Cause

It’s incredibly easy for adults to deflect their anxiety onto their children. For instance, if you feel emotionally distant in your marriage, it’s probably easier to overly focus on your child instead of discussing the problem with your spouse. If this sounds familiar, speaking with a licensed therapist or counselor can help you look inward and unearth any problems that might be lying under the surface.

Develop Coping Skills

Having strong coping skills eases the symptoms of parental anxiety. Exercising, for example, elevates our mood and energy levels, and it reduces anxiety. Practicing mindfulness meditation can also significantly reduce anxiety symptoms. If you need help finding coping mechanisms that work for you, a licensed therapist or counselor can offer suggestions – whether it be practicing yoga, deep breathing exercises, or journaling.

 Seek Professional Help

If your anxiety is impeding your daily functioning, causing depression, triggering upsetting thoughts, or causing you to hurt yourself (or others), it’s time to speak with a Fort Worth therapist. Not only is individual therapy a safe space to discuss your anxious feelings, but we equip you with proven strategies and coping mechanisms to achieve a higher quality of life.

Best Parental Therapist Fort Worth, Texas

If you’re struggling with parental anxiety, know that you aren’t alone. Approximately 68% of women and 57% of men with mental health problems are parents. And the most common mental health problems experienced during pregnancy and post-birth are anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

With over a decade of experience in the mental health industry, the anxiety counselors at Fort Wellness Counseling are here for you. We offer individual therapy, specialty counseling, and life coaching services that equip you with life-changing strategies to reach a higher quality of life.

You can have the life you desire. So if you’re ready to get started, contact our team today.

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