Are You Parenting From Fear? Tips to Break Free
I read a quote recently by Alan Cohen that stated, “Anxiety is a sign that you have made up a story contrary to reality. Love does not fear.”
For me, it started when my daughter had a skiing accident and sustained a pretty severe concussion. The injury has limited her activity for the rest of her life. I believe this is what triggered my anxiety. I have a son who lives and breathes football. If he had to make a choice between all the sports he plays, he would choose football. Hands down. But it scares the heck out of me. Watching my son every Sunday has become a test in anxiety management. I am a nervous wreck.
I am in a constant internal struggle. I wish my son didn’t play football. I wish he didn’t want to play football. And sometimes my anxiety over it all makes me want to just pull the plug on it.
When I am able to think clearly and objectively, I realize I can’t live my life in fear. Fear limits us. It’s totally limiting me when it comes to this and if I allowed it to consume me and take over, it would limit my son, too. This is something he likes and is interested in and wants to do. Is it fair to take that away from him because I am fearful that something may happen?
There are many positives that he is getting from being part of a team, like working together. This season, they are learning to lose with dignity, which is an amazing lesson. Yes, the concussion risk and injury risk is probably higher in football, but my daughter’s head injury was from a fluke skiing accident. Kids can get hurt riding their bike and walking across the street. So I am trying to recognize when I am living in and making decisions from fear, and I am working on moving from fear into “allowing.”
Becoming aware is the first step. The next, equally important step is doing something about it. For me, meditation and breathing help. I have a Wayne Dyer meditation on my iPod, but you can google meditation and find tons of programs that you can download. Sometimes I only have 2 minutes and just take some nice long, deep breaths. When I have a bit more time I like a guided meditation. It keeps my mind more focused.
Reiki is a healing energy that uses a simple hands-on method with the goal of improving the flow of life energy in a person. Reiki is performed by a trained Reiki practitioner. It is very relaxing and stress-reducing. This works for me. My anxiety immediately improves. You can get individual sessions (which are more expensive) or you can find a Reiki Circle, which is lead by a trained practitioner and the fee is a donation (from $5-$20).
I use affirmations daily. I use some to start my day and I have some affirmations that I use for specific situations. When I am feeling anxious and fearful, I use one by Wayne Dyer. “I release the need for anxiety and fear in my life.” It’s very simple and easy. I say it over and over (depending on how anxious I am) and it settles me. Try and find some that are meaningful to you and see if it helps.
Once you become aware of how much fear is a driving force in your parenting, you can start to find things that help to alleviate it. And then you can come from a place of peace and clarity when you are faced with decisions and situations that come up for you as a parent.
Meghan Phillips, L-MSW, is a school social worker in an elementary school where she works with kids ages 5 to 11 and their parents. Meghan is currently writing a book about how parents can make small shifts in parenting that will help children to become in-tune with their authentic selves and live in alignment with their true purpose and desires. Meghan lives on Eastern Long Island, NY with her new husband, Dan, and two children, Maura 12 and Nolan 10. Visit her website and blog at www.Meghansphillips.com.