Is it even possible to stop worrying?
Parenting is the hardest job on the planet and we mostly do it with no training and with a lick and a promise. Are you the kind of person who puts a lot of pressure on yourself to ‘get it right’? And what does that even mean? Research shows that kids that have ‘over-involved’ parents; anxious mums and dads, fare worse in the real world.
Here are 10 things that you should stop worrying about now!
You don’t spend enough time with your child
Most parents feel this from time to time unless they are home with their children 24/7. If you are starting to feel like this, it might be a signal that you need to re-jig your schedule to diary some time with your kid/s. You don’t have to spend hours and hours, but adding a scheduled amount of time to do something specific with each child can help alleviate the guilt most parents get from time to time worrying that ‘I don’t spend enough time with him/her/them’.
You forget something that they told you that is important to them
It happens to all of us and it is normal! Stop worrying! Apologise for the oversight and try to make it up to them without going overboard. Ask them to help you come up with a new strategy for remembering.
You’re not able to attend their assembly/music show/sporting activity
Join the ranks of parents everywhere! Every now and then we will miss (or get held up and are late to) the kids event. Stop worrying – not attending every single event will teach your kids that people must prioritise other things at certain times – it will help them build resilience. If you know you cannot make it, and want to see the event, perhaps get someone to record it and watch it back with your child. Creating a different memory!
Your child’s eating habits
Are the eating enough? Are they eating too much? Of this food.. or that food? If you are truly worried check out this information for healthy kids and if you are still worried, visit your GP for a chat without your child in the first instance. Chances are, everything is fine but if you need to tweak eating habits remember that you are their role model so make it a family effort and support each other instead of worrying yourself without taking action.
Your child doesn’t have the latest [fill in the blank]
Children spell love T.I.M.E. So don’t worry about the latest gadgets that such-n-such person at school has. They would gladly give it up for 15 more minutes with you. I bet you!
Your child wont be successful at everything they do
You should probably stop worrying about your child not thriving at everything they do! Not every one of us is good at everything and of course this is the same for kids. If your kids aren’t excelling at something it is either because they aren’t good at that thing, they aren’t enjoying it or the environment doesn’t match their needs. If it isn’t going to be a substantial and ongoing problem, let them be ‘not good’ at something – it builds character!
The mistake you made will scar them for life
We all make mistakes, forget things and mess up. Showing that you are human, you make mistakes and can forgive yourself will teach your kids much more than beating yourself up and worrying about how you’ve scarred them for life.
Sometimes you want to do stuff WITHOUT your kids
It is perfectly normal to want to do things without the kids in tow from time to time. It doesn’t mean that you don’t love them, it means that you want to remember who you were before you had them, and be the best you can be when you are with them. Whether it’s an afternoon away from them or a weekend or longer, take the time you need to recharge and you’ll find you enjoy them more when you get back.
The unthinkable will happen
It’s hard, when the media bombard us with so many negative images and stories about all the difficulties in the world. Remember that you are in control of yourself and you can make good decisions that impact positively upon your family. Teach your kids about personal responsibility and how to stay safe when they are not with you. Empower them to trust their instincts and make good decisions and you will find you are worrying less and less about their path through life.
Stop worrying that you’re not doing a good enough job as a parent
The fact that you worry about it is a strong indicator that you are in fact, doing a stellar job! Trust that your kids love you and see you as an amazing, talented, fascinating, super human…. and (except a few years as a teenager) probably always will!
This article featured in Issue 32 of our printed magazine, published February 2019.