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12 Responses to When Parents’ Fears Escalate

  1. Dionna  

    Embarrassment is such a big motivator. But when we feel confident and comfortable enough to simply interact with our children – the way we intend to – without worrying about what others think about us, that’s when we can really have a respectful, meaningful interaction in the middle of stress. Thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. ukash

    Both fears are not actually born out of these situations, but precede the events.

  3. Kristen B  

    I agree that it is very important for parents to have other parents that they can be completely open and honest with. Where they know they will not be judged. I find that many parents pretend that everything is perfect when it is not. This just perpetuates the feeling that perfection is necessary and attainable.

  4. Lauren Wayne  

    Yes! I find some of my worst parenting decisions come as a reaction to fears about other people judging me. If I can tune that out and focus on my kids, it goes so much better, even if there’s still a meltdown happening.

    • Laurie Hollman, Ph.D.  

      I love the picture of your family! I’ve found one of the ways to help with the judging factor when there’s a meltdown is to step back and take a moment to see how you feel. Kind of reconnect with yourself instead of the onlookers.Even with a meltdown there can be a moment of time for yourself. If you find you try this, let me know how it goes if you wish.

  5. Justine Uhlenbrock  

    “…an emphatic reminder to the self-doubter that they really do fit in to the parenting world where all parents get anxious, worn down, exhausted, and confused and this does not mean failure.” Yes. This is a lovely reminder.

  6. Jaye Anne  

    Wow these are all things I have been thinking and feeling a LOT lately. It’s difficult to get a handle on them in the moment and that is something I am working on.

    “It often comes from feeling like a failure in other ways because the parent hasn’t been validated and accepted at different periods of their life and now the big test–being a good parent–is going to show the jig’s up.” Thank you for saying this out loud!

  7. Hannah  

    I think that I focus too much on the “now” parenting fear and tend not to remember that I will equally be unable to understand what my child(ren) are “saying” when they get older. I see this as an adult child with well meaning parents who frequently don’t understand my and my siblings needs.

    • Laurie Hollman, Ph.D.  

      Hi Hannah,
      I think one of the keys to understanding young and older children is first stepping back before reacting. Suspending judgement about behavior or what is said and noticing your own reactions first often leads to the time needed for really listening.If you try this, let me know how it works if you wish to write back.

  8. Tarana  

    I never worry about the first (because kids are kids!), but sometimes, the second fear can creep into my mind. I wish we shared our fears and mistakes as parents as often as we share our proud moments. I wish we didn’t create an aura of perfection about our parenting ways, so that we could all relax and find our way.