Parenting With Anxiety and Celebrating the Small Victories

June 30, 2010 Aimee White

I have read that anxiety can be caused by growing up in an atmosphere where you are taught that the world is a very scary place. As a first time parent, I want to protect my little girl from everything and anything that can harm her, however, I don't want to be an overprotective parent and cause her to not have confidence and independence (Can Kids Blame Their Parents for Social Phobias?). It's a balancing act I am still trying to figure out. Are you too relaxed with your children, too uptight, or have you got it all figured out?

Anxiety And Protective vs. Overprotective Parenting

Parenting when you have anxiety means you must find the balance between protecting your child and letting go. It isn't easy when your anxiety tries to parent for you.Since the weather has gotten warmer, my toddler's favorite thing to do is to go to the park and play on the playground. At first, it was very tiresome for me because I had to crawl all over the playground with her since she wasn't yet steady on her own two feet. I had to watch like a hawk to make sure she didn't topple off the side or fall down a slide. I noticed I was the only parent there monitoring my child this way and it made me wonder if they were laughing at me. Social anxiety is always my companion. But she is usually the littlest kid there and I care more about her safety than my pride.

As she has gotten a little older and a little more sturdy, it's been nice to take a step back and let her do things by herself. If she runs out of the playground into the surrounding fields, my nerves tend to rise unless I follow her. This morning, she ran out of the playground and started to run up this large hill that is used for sledding in the wintertime.

I didn't have the energy to make the hike, so I stayed below and watched. Although she was far away, I could still plainly see her. It was a moment where I realized I was letting her go a little bit and it was really hard for me. As she neared the top, I knew I wouldn't be able to catch up if she went down the other side, so I quickly celebrated her accomplishment with her and then told her to come back down.

Small Victories For Parents With Anxiety Lead to Growth

We are told to celebrate the small victories. These small advances, over time, lead to great changes in our lives. This climb was a small victory for my almost two year old climbing a hill so much bigger than herself and doing it all by herself. And it was a small victory for me letting her do it all by herself.

As time moves on, hopefully I can master the art of being supportive and protective, yet encouraging independence and growth.

APA Reference
White, A. (2010, June 30). Parenting With Anxiety and Celebrating the Small Victories, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Aimee White

Conscious Dolphin
July, 24 2010 at 2:45 pm

I have three children ranging in ages from 9 to 18 years. I have found that having children has a very interesting side benefit of helping me to heal aspects of my unresolved issues from childhood in that when I allow my kids to be who they are without doing the negative stuff to them that my parents did to me there is awesome healing that happens. One example is that I don't shame my 9 year old son in any way when he feels sad or upset and cries. I model that this is ok when I openly cry during movies frequently. He jokes about how much I am going to cry during certain movies and we have a great connection!!

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