Setting Limitations to your Worry

Worrying is nothing new to parents. Whether you’ve just had your first child, or you’re on your fourth, worrying never seems to go away and probably never will.

People have the misconception that all worrying is useless and not helpful. This is not necessarily the truth, as constructive worrying can often be helpful to parents and their children. If your child is not eating healthy, you will probably start worrying about their diet, and this worry will probably lead to you to make an adjustment in what and how they eat on a regular basis. Constructive worrying can truly make a difference and should not be overlooked.

Then there is the worrying that does no one any good and is more detrimental than anything. This kind of worrying can be defined as ‘excessive worrying.’ It is a kind of obsession with things that no one can control. If your child has just left for a play-date and you are sitting on the couch fretting about the possibility of a hurt knee or elbow, then this will get you and your child nowhere. Instead, it puts you in a position of suffering which benefits no one.

One thing you have to think about while raising your child is whether the object of worry is really worth your time. Is there real risk associated with whatever you child is doing? To some parents, the answer to this is a resounding ‘YES’ to every possible situation, but one has to be realistic with this question.

First things first, get the information on whatever you are worried about. Worried about shark attacks while your child is swimming? Read up on the topic of concern and it will probably lessen your fears. For example, only five people die from shark attacks yearly (National Geographic). Don’t rely on emotions to call the shots.

Talk with other moms and dads, maybe even your own! Often, parents will find where their worries lie on the spectrum of ‘reasonable’ to ‘excessive’ when chatting with other trusted parents.

No matter what, remember that all parents are always wondering if what they are doing is ‘right’ or not, so don’t be afraid to ask others for help! You have a community that is waiting to help you out…so don’t worry about it!

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