Anxiety in children can be biological, environmental and family caused. As we have previously discussed Child Anxiety disorder is a modern day epidemic that is on the increase and can be reduced just by changing the way we parent.
Parents who have anxiety themselves or use “critical parenting styles” are more likely to have anxious children, partly because of genetics but they also do a great job in teaching the child to become anxious without realising it. A great way to reduce anxiety in children is to consider the way you parent and change accordingly.
There are two styles of parenting – Critical or Nurturing.
This is a learned behaviour from the way your parents taught you and knowing the difference can have a massive impact on a child’s anxiety. So which one are you?
The Critical Parent
Teaches the child to become fearful and anxious by overly worrying, negative comments and overprotecting the child by saying things such as:
Be careful you are going to fall.
Mind you don’t drop that it will break
You are going to make a mess everywhere
Don’t do that, you will fall and hurt yourself.
The Nurturing Parent
Teaches the child by allowing the child to learn on his or her own by using positivity and trust, saying things such as:
You are fine you can get do it on your own
Don’t worry if you drop it- Just try your best
Its nothing we cant clean up afterward
Just try your best – you can do it
By being a nurturing parent rather than a critical parent you will develop your child’s self-trust, acceptance, and bundles of confidence instead of anxiety, fears, and apprehension.
Clearly, there are some things that children need to be aware of for safety and protection reasons, but it is important to teach them in a constructive way – not in a nervous fearful way.