Our parents had it easy. They pretty much had two sources for making decisions about their kids – their own parents and maybe a tattered copy of Dr. Spock’s baby book.
You and I, on the other hand, have access to all the material ever created on parenting at our fingertips.
We do research and worry about screen time, sugar, and our kids’ emotional development. We also have access to every opinion and judgment on social media, where our formerly chill friends can turn into aggressive parenting experts.
The result is a perfect recipe for anxious parents. As a pediatrician, it’s the most pervasive problem I see every day, and, as a parent, I struggle with it constantly too.
Good parents tend to be a bit anxious. They read books and gather opinions to help their kids be healthier, happier, and smarter in a world that seems to increasingly threaten those things. But being too anxious about our kids can get in the way of those goals.
It’s a big topic, but I want to explore a few areas where we can do practical things to reduce our anxiety. We’ll talk about how parental anxiety can create insecurities that companies are ready to exploit, for example. Then we’ll look at how it can turn the dinner table into a battleground three times a day and lead to long-term unhealthy eating habits. Finally, we’ll explore how anxiety can crush our own identities as individuals and transfer over to our kids.