Breaking the Cycle of Anxious Parenting

by Karen K.C. Gibson

Children think differently, face so many distractions, and endure overwhelming stress. A primary goal of parenting is to prepare our children for adulthood.

Parents are exhausted by frequent conflicts and worries that fill them with uncertainty, wondering if their child is equipped to navigate life as an adult successfully.

Shifting one’s mindset is the key to breaking the cycle of anxious parenting.

Accessing the right mindset to crush your limiting beliefs

Once we are mindful of our thoughts, we can understand which negative thinking patterns we engage with most and detach from believing they are true.  Questioning whether your thoughts are helpful or destructive is the key to taming your inner critic.

Are your thoughts filled with worrying about future adverse outcomes?  Will your child fail? Will your child find a career that provides financial security?

Pausing and reflecting on how worrying just drains your mental and emotional energy sometimes provides the incentive to let go and choose peace.

Is the stress, sleepless nights, and frustration worth it? Creating the right mindset and having a healthier perspective will pave the way to crushing limiting beliefs.

Understanding your fears to face them and build resilience
Fears are mental worst-case scenarios our mind conjures up that have spiraled further, causing mental paralysis, sleepless nights, and constant knots in our stomachs.

Acknowledge that fear has shown up to teach you a valuable lesson and allow you to grow. Thank fear for showing up. Fear is used to being avoided, not embraced. Once you understand your fear, fear will lose more power and no longer steal your peace.

Ask the following questions: What exactly are you afraid of? What if your fears don’t come true? How do you handle resistance?

Fears operate through our imagination, much like storytelling does.  Understanding fears helps build resilience, which reduces stress and increases peace.

Retraining your brain by asking self-reflective questions
Retraining the parenting brain helps overcome limiting beliefs which can cause unnecessary stress and conflicts as parents tend to lecture more rather than listen.  Sometimes we use mental filtering to filter out the positives and only focus on the negative.

Other times we engage in “black & white thinking, which is when we believe there is no middle ground, either something is perfect or a failure. We often make a judgment without considering all the facts.

Question your thoughts the next time you take something personally and compare yourself to others, making you feel unworthy.  Also, if you believe you are right, you usually argue to prove your point.

Adapt your thinking. Don’t underestimate the power of deep breathing, a mini walk outdoors, or listening to your favorite music when you find your chaotic thoughts hijack your peace.

If you’re interested in an online course, “Breaking the Cycle of Anxious Parenting,” visit The course covers overcoming limiting beliefs, understanding and conquering fears, and retraining your brain to parent with peace instead of anxiety.

KAREN K.C. GIBSON is a mother of two adult daughters, wife, author, parent coach, and educator. Visit her website, to learn more about her services or follow her on Instagram @karenkcgibson.

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