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March 11th, 2012

Worried Parents, Worried Kids: Breaking the Cycle

Did you know that children often adopt worries and fears their parents have? If a parent feels there are dangers lurking, a child may also worry about safety issues, such as robbers, kidnappers, or murderers.

An anxious and fearful approach to life tends to run in families, due to the delicate balance between genetics and behaviors at home. Research consistently shows that an anxious child has at least one anxious parent. Excessive worry may not affect every child in the family, but it might derail the development of one of the children.

If you are a parent with worries and anxieties that may be contributing to your child’s fears, there is something you both can do to break this worry cycle. Together, you and your child can learn strategic tools to Outsmart Your Worry. Tools that focus on accurate thoughts and calming behaviors help get a grip on out of control worries.

Imagine minimizing the Worried What If’s that bother your child at bedtime or keep you up nights. You and your child can both learn to stop exaggerating worries about situations that usually never happen. Your kid can stop wondering, What if someone breaks into my house at night and takes me away? You could stop thinking, What if I’m not there when my child needs me at school or camp?

If you have a worried child ages 5 to 11, get The Outsmart Your Worry Tool Kit for Kids┬« (Elementary School Edition). It’s quick and fun, and learning worry management skills together can be a powerful experience. If your tween or teen worries about social pressures, failure, or something bad happening the family, the High School/Middle School Edition of the Worry Tool Kit can help. Your older child may prefer to learn worry-fighting tools independently. That’s OK too, because you can quickly get up to speed and practice the tools yourself as well.

The key is remembering that there are smart and strong ways to manage worry and prevent it from ruling your life and the happiness of your child. Here’s more information that you may find helpful:

-Mommy, Daddy Don’t Leave Me!

-Afraid of Giving School Presentations:Three Steps to Help Kids with Public Speaking Anxiety

-A Tree is Blocking My Driveway and I’m Scared