Anxious mom and her children

Children are in many ways an extension of their parents. Growing up in a family, they repeat the character of their mother or father, they may have the same habits as family members, mood and behavior patterns.

This article will focus on the phenomenon of increased anxiety in the mother.

What happens to children when they are in contact every day not only with their mother, but also with her anxiety? How is a woman’s mood transmitted to children? Is it possible to reduce the manifestation of anxiety in mother and children? Answers in this article.

Child’s feelings and attitude towards life

Parents transmit their attitude to the world to their child . Communicating with people around him – friends, acquaintances, colleagues – an adult unconsciously transfers his ways of communication. If the mother or father tends to show a lot of anger and irritation, then the child is likely to repeat this behavior.  

Anxiety is such a process that cannot always be noticed and at first glance it seems that it does not pose a threat to the personality of a woman and her children. Increased anxiety is an irritating factor that does not allow the mother to live in peace, to enjoy herself, the people around her and every day, and affects her interaction in the family.

When raising children, it is important to understand that they are influenced by everything their parents do or say.

The inability of adults to protect themselves, create conditions for a comfortable life, depression or stress also affect children in the family – they can feel fear and feel unsafe, even though they are close to relatives and adults.  

What is the mother worried about and why?

  • Something bad will happen to the child. The thoughts that unite such anxiety are very broad. A woman worried about the condition, health and life of a child can constantly think about the following: someone will offend him, he will feel unnecessary or abandoned, get sick, fall under a car, he will be stolen, scared, beaten, taken away valuable things, and the worst thing is he may die as a result of some kind of accident.

Thinking about this, the mother is exposed to very strong fear and excitement, she worries about her child, even if he is already 10, 15 or 20 years old. If the anxiety is very strong and the woman gets used to living in it, then all her energetic forces go to restrain the anxiety. As a result, she often feels tired, depressed, overwhelmed. She has no strength for work, fun or personal life. Constantly living inside everything terrible and unpleasant that can happen to a child, she has neither the time nor the desire to engage in a hobby, to pay attention to herself, her husband or personal interests. Why is the mother so worried? 

  • The attitude of the overprotective to the child. This happens in families, where they constantly think about children’s health, well-being and behavior more than about something else. Children in such families may not grow up independent, because maternal anxiety – if a woman tries to unconsciously get rid of it – turns into control.

Then the parents do not allow the child to take a step without their knowledge. The goal is that nothing happens to him. Children in such families do not know very well what responsibility and independence are and a sense of excitement is also transmitted to them.

  • The only or long-awaited child. Sometimes a mother is very worried about the health and life of her child, if she has been waiting for his birth for a very long time, he is her only joy, or there are no more relatives besides him. Then, unconsciously, the woman refers to him as a way to maintain vitality and a source of positive emotions. In such a family, a woman can refuse to satisfy her needs, such as professional growth, marriage, hobbies, and entertainment.
  • Painful experience. Children face maternal anxiety when parents have had sad experiences in the past. They may have lost a child as a result of a mistake or accident, have experienced serious childhood illnesses or such conflicts as a result of which the child received psychological or physical trauma. Therefore, the mother, wanting to protect the family from the repetition of such events, begins to feel anxiety.

Anxious feelings can be very intense, filling the entire living space of a woman or family. You can get rid of them or reduce them if you realize that almost all vital energy is spent on experience and excitement, and then there is no time or energy left for joy, fun and pleasant communication.

Anxiety can be reduced by living the feelings associated with it to the end. If it is based on negative experiences or emotional trauma related to loss or illness, a psychologist or psychotherapist will help to cope with the painful sensations that return each time. In other cases, if a woman understands that increased anxiety has always accompanied her, even when she was a child, and has long been a part of her personality, you can help yourself if you establish the reasons for its appearance and work to eliminate them.

Taking control of other people and starting to control your anxious thoughts is one productive way to reduce the intensity of worrying about your children.

How is anxiety transmitted to children?

  • When a child hears and sees the mother’s attitude to various life events and people.
  • When she talks about her fear, doubts, feelings.
  • If a woman “rushes about”, is not sure of herself, does not know what to do, is afraid to make a mistake, doubts her own objectivity or puts her decisions in doubt.

Observing such behavior, the child with almost one hundred percent probability will grow up as anxious – he will be afraid of everything: life and communication, travel and acquaintances, new experiences and problems.

What to do to protect him from anxiety? Stop worrying inside yourself. Understand what exactly prevents you from living a full life. Allow the child to become independent.

Reducing anxiety in children

How can you help your child to stop worrying and worrying about any reason? How to teach him not to worry and not be afraid of what has not yet happened?

  • Demonstrate an objective and positive attitude towards life by your own example. For this, the mother’s feelings of anxiety must be studied and worked out.
  • Allowing him to take steps where he has not yet been, and gain new experience – trying himself in different hobbies, meeting new guys and so on.
  • Train to solve problems as they come.
  • Give the child more independence, especially when he is old enough to make decisions for himself. If he is worried and worried about something, tell him that the outcome of events can be completely different, and he may be ready for this.
  • Saying out loud what the child thinks can happen or happen – the most undesirable for him – can help reduce anxiety. After that, it is worthwhile to outline a plan of action with which you could cope with a difficult situation. When children become clear about what to do, their feelings of anxiety decrease and they begin to feel more confident and strong.  
event_note January 2, 2021

account_box Winona Tse MD

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