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Ep. 114 How to Deal with Parenting Fears

by Claudine Sweeney
February 2nd 2022
On a scale from 1 to 10, how often do you worry about your kids? How often do parenting fears sneak into your life? Today, we share some of our own personal fears and what you can do about those fears... More
This is episode 1 14 How to deal with parenting fears. You're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids, we have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the Rise up and Shine podcast. Welcome back everyone! Well, I'm excited about today's episode Claudine, you know why? Because I need a lot of these reminders so I'm really grateful that we got to prepare for this episode for our listeners and today we are going to be talking about parenting fears. I can be filled with a lot of fears in regards to my Children, especially in this day and age. I mean I even talked with my own mom and my gosh remember back when I was growing up and your fears were like that, you know, hoping we wouldn't get into drugs or drinking and or smoking right?

We had dare at our school um now just say no nowadays, I feel like it is such a different climate out there in culture that we are bombarded by fear, but also I think that what goes along with it learning, I think from the pandemic of the media and how the media pushes so much fear and it could be so easy to gobble it up right and just live from such a fear based place in our parenting, which is why we wanted to talk about today? Because I have talked with many, many other moms yourself, you know, I know for myself and with many other parents that there is a lot of fear out there, right, you know, and It doesn't end when the kids turn 18, I'm a mom of four adults now, I have two grandchildren, so it doesnt end, I mean it's part, I think it's part of our nature as moms to have fear and worry about our kids, but it's not healthy and we need to learn how to deal with that because we don't want to parent our Children from fear based, you know, we want to parent them hopefully faith based as christian moms, so that's why we're doing this because it doesn't end.

So we still have to learn how to cope with it, whether our kids are two years old or 32 years old, we've got to become aware of our parenting fears and find practical ways to help us overcome it and we don't realize that we do it. It took me a while to realize that I was even doing it, wow, I didn't realize I'm doing this more from fear of what might happen or what they might get into our experience and really when you think about it, when you have a kid, right? When you have a baby, it's one of your first fears is one, oh my gosh, like how in the world am I going to do this? There's no manual am I going to, you know, am I going to keep this child alive? Um, to the fear of them running into the middle of the street, write another. And then that can turn into as many parents have the fear or the dreaded talk about the birds and the bees. Um, which is where we are right now. And then that can also lead into, will they make the right choices in their lives, right?

That you that line up with your values or that you agree with or that will save them from pain and hardship in their life. It changes our fears as parents change the fears that we're not good enough as a parent. Like I'm not doing a good enough job. I didn't struggle with that until my kids were much older and then they started making choices that I didn't agree with, like you mentioned, but then I started feeling, and my feeling as a mom like where did I go wrong, failure? Like where did I go wrong and luckily my husband had a really healthy handle on that. So he was able to help me. But, and for me with adult Children, some of the fears are, well, they get a good job, will they be able to support themselves? Um, I have 11 of them lives in southern California. It's so expensive. I'm like, how are they ever going to buy a home? How are they going to ever raise a family? There were, it's so expensive to get into the market. Um Well they find a spouse, will they have kids? You know, will everything be okay with that?

There's just so many fears because there's so many things that are out of our control and that's really, I think the heart of the matter, it's not in our control and that's where the fear comes because we can't control it. And for something you love so dearly, right? You want to be in control because you want to protect them right from hardships, from pain. You know, it comes down to even safety and also just your values, you know, hoping they make great choices And when they're older, you know, one of the things I talk about with different women in my age group is will there be a loss of relationship, you know, when the kids are under 18, they live kind of forced to be with you, right? It might not be a great relationship, but they're there with you when they're older. Well they call me, they call me, right? We still have relationship. I'm really fortunate and Now I fear that one you don't need to because you've got all the practical, but you know, that's something um that my husband, I worked really hard at building those relationships with the kids that we still have it now that they're adults.

They all want to come home. They all want to be together. And that's a that's a blessing. It's not the norm. I didn't have a fear. I just thought of course they're all gonna come home and we're going to all be best friends till death do us part. But a lot of other people, a lot of women that I've talked to with their adult Children, that's a legitimate fear or with kids that are about to move out. I'll share personally about my fears now I've really prayed a lot to trust God's will, you know, whatever happens and I've even made lists of what can I control and what can I not control and what things do I need to release to God and just pray for that has definitely helped. That is a great tool. I highly encourage you parents out there to do because we do tend to try and control more than we're able, you know, and it causes a lot of anxiety and stress. So I highly encourage that. But there is still the aspect of culture out there that is very challenging.

And so now even, you know, kind of going back to talking about, well we're in the stage now we're talking about, you know, sex. Now there's these added factors of, we need to talk about gender identity and L G. B. T. Q. X, Y Z. Did I say accept something. So there's these new added things in our culture that have become so accepted that are even accepted in the schools and talked about in the schools that is causing a lot more anxiety in myself. Um, and because I don't, I feel unequipped and I think many of us parents do not feel equipped to handle these new shifts in our culture and that's exactly what happened, that it's been a big shift. You're not equipped yet. If you, if you remember our episode from last week, you're not equipped yet, I'm going to tell myself that. So, but what did I do?

Right, I I learned I can either sit and just freak out and I don't know what to do and just stress about it and worry about it. Um or I can also research how like what is being taught out there, How can I approach it? How do I have the conversation with my kids and pray pray pray. So the beginning of this year, you know, being um the new year, 2022 years, I am becoming much more intentional about having prayer walks in the morning because those fears have become more strong because we're in a new stage of life right? When they're five years old. I didn't have to worry about those things yet. But now they are being faced with them and the things that the kids are watching on tv or they could be watching a Disney cartoon or a Nickelodeon cartoon and there's a lot of things like same sex attraction and crushes and, and in books, even in books, um where there's you know, same sex attraction, like the romance, the topic around the whole book is about that.

So there's a lot of things and these are even in kids libraries at school. Yeah. So these are fears for you that, that they're being taught different values in different ways. So exposed, so exposed to a different lifestyle. Yeah. That would be very accepting. Yeah. It's changing schools. It's changed very much since my kids were little and then certainly changed from when I was in school. I mean every two decades it seems like Things shift in a big way. And so it is new. It's new and then you spend time at home trying to raise them with certain values and then they go to school 30 hours a week and they're learning something different. So there's some um conflict there and what's right and and even just how to talk about it. Yeah. We missed that with our kids. Like that wasn't going on when our kids were in school. So I didn't have to deal with. It was interesting because we were talking about this last week, this very thing and how you mentioned that when you were leading the youth group, you encourage parents don't give your kids smartphones, don't give your kids smartphones and then now down the road years down the road you see what is happening.

But I I see the validity in that, you know, because of what they're exposed to. And I think the kids have been handed something and we give them so much trust that they're going to make the right decisions without having the communication with them. But it does, it causes a lot of fear. And then what happens is then we're kind of playing damage control. Oh my gosh, like I didn't talk to them about this stuff, I didn't, you know, I didn't, I wasn't the first one to bring it to them. They're hearing things, they might have a misconstrued the idea of this. And so yeah, so there's a lot of fears out there that in my age group, you know, with younger kids that we're dealing with, but that's why we want to talk about this. So whatever stage you are, whatever parenting fears are coming up, it's what do I do about it? What do I do with these fears? Because we want to fix, we want to fix the pride and feel better Well and the Bible has over 500 scriptures that say do not be afraid or do not fear. I mean we're commanded over and over and over. I think God knew we needed to keep hearing it.

Do not fear. Do not fear. I am with you. There's so many scriptures about fearing and and I believe and I've said this for a long time. Fear and faith cannot coexist. You can't be faithful and fearful at the same time about the same thing. You know what I'm saying? I can't be faithful about my kid's future and then also be fearful of it at the same time. It's like one of them is not right. I mean my faith is being confident and assured of what I hope for. So I can't be fearful if I'm confident. And so part of it is we really have to allow our faith to be much bigger than our fears. So it goes back to what are we filling our minds and our hearts with how are we building our faith? How are we intentionally setting time aside every day to build our faith so that we don't give in to the fears. I think the fears are normal. How could we not? I mean, most of us are in California. My oldest daughter and her husband are in Idaho, so there's a lower cost of living. But I think how in the world are my kids, I'm going to buy a house out here and raise a family.

I'm like, I don't see it. I don't see it. But at the same time I'm confident that God is going to work away. So I don't spend too much time spinning over it. But if it definitely is a thought like I don't I don't know how they're going to ever buy a house. My daughter said that to me like a couple of weeks ago when we were visiting, she's like, I don't know how we're ever going to buy a house. I said, I don't know either, but they'll be away. Like I don't see it now, but I'm confident you guys will build by, be able to buy a house one day in the near future because she's made the decision to stay home. So they live on one income and even Boise has gotten very expensive. Not like California expensive, but it's still expensive. So I noticed that I'm just not saying I'm looking to move, but I did kind of play with the idea a little bit of getting out of California. I know, I think we all do it time that was coming from fear, right? But so we have to remember our faith will triumph, our fears. So what are we doing practically in our day to day life to build our faith. You know, are we reading the scriptures? Are we encouraging ourselves with?

What are we filing? I think about with the pandemic and all the media coverage. Just so fear based. And how many people bought into that? I know I did in the beginning at least not anymore. I mean it's been almost two years, but I did, I was, you know, I mean look at there was no toilet paper, there was barely any alcohol on the shelves. That was one of the things there was like no toilet paper and barely any alcohol. I thought oh my gosh! These poor households but I get it. But with the fear there was so much fear being pushed and it is it's such a natural emotion that we all get for survival and so we do, we jump into it quickly. But when there's things outside of our control we can try and control anyways and we feel powerless and we feel discouraged and we can't rationally think properly because we're acting from a place of fear. And so again we're not saying do not be afraid, do not fear, but in your fear.

You know when they come up just know who is greater and who is in control that is so helpful and be so closely tied to the source. I highly encourage that be connected to the source because once you realize what am I filling my mind with most, it's going to create how you feel. So as I recognized that I was starting to be filled with a lot of fear. To the point of even feeling physically sick that I realized I was killing myself with the wrong things. I was focusing too much on the things that were causing me fear rather than on the source that I should be faithful and that I should give all of my worries and anxieties too. And that's why God says to you know come give me all of your worries, you know give me all of your anxieties. All of your petitions. Thank you all of those things? Right? Bring to God because he is in charge.

He is in control And he even loves our Children more than we could possibly love our Children. So remembering those things really helps with building the faith um to overcome that fear. So it doesn't keep us stuck because what happens to when we are afraid we react whether we fight flight freeze, you know, I mean we run away. We avoid, that's what I tend to do. So I just wanted to avoid everything. I like I said I was playing with the idea of moving. I'm like maybe we just get out of here and avoid it altogether. Not like these issues aren't everywhere. But that was my reaction. If we're not putting good things into our thoughts and then we can get stuck with this worst case scenario, Doom and gloom thinking right? Like especially with our kids because we love them and value them so much. And we start thinking we go to the worst case scenario and that's what builds those fears because we're not thinking the best scenario. It's not like I'm sitting around, I should have got to train myself. It's not like my kids are all going to buy beautiful homes and have lots of healthy beautiful Children.

You know, we get stuck with the what if they can ever buy house? What if they never get married? What if they never have Children? What if they have fertility problems. Yeah. There's so many. What ifs and I always go to the worst case and so great practical is to start practicing saying the best case. Like if they have beautiful homes nicer than anything we've ever owned. What if they have healthy lots of Children? I don't know that my kids want lots of Children each. But you know, why don't I replace that with the best case scenario? Our brains have a negativity wired. They're they're wired to be negative for survival, for survival. But what if we really implement putting in the best case and there's so many scriptures that teach us that. I mean I think about perfect love drives out fear. You know even just that thinking about God that will drive out the fear and and who is perfect love or what is perfect love. It's God, we know that right without God. How are we going to overcome any of these fears? How can we find our best case scenarios without God I think with him and through him we can have that.

And then I think about my favorite parenting scripture. I've said this for many years. It's in first timothy 4 16 and this version um I don't know which version I'm reading out of maybe the message. Yeah. So I love it though. The translation of it. It says keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching don't be diverted. Just keep at it, both you and those who hear you will experience salvation. I think about that when the world is tugging at our Children in a very different direction. It's, you know, not in a christian um worldview primarily we've got a very opposing worldview, but I love that scripture and I've been saying that to myself and to other parents since my kids were probably about your kids age. And it really helped me. Like I just need to persevere the N. I. V. Versions that the N. I. V. Version says, persevere in your life and doctrine. And if you do, you will save yourself and your hearers. And that just really helped keep my mind centered. I just need to keep going, Keep reading my bible, keep praying, keep centered on God and his word and his ways and then make sure that my life matches up as well and then my kids are going to be okay.

And so our kids have gone through the wringer. I mean, we've had some legitimate things to fear. I've shared this before, but one of them chose to live on the street. There's some legitimate fears going on when you cannot reach your child and they're living on the streets, you know. Um, but we had to take that time and dig deeper, dig deeper in our faith. But so many of our fears don't come to pass right there, just worst case scenarios in our head and occasionally if some there are, I mean, we've known families were terrible things have happened with their Children, they've lost their Children or their Children have made terrible choices and they've ended up in prison or all kinds of things. But you know what? The parents have risen up, They rise up at that point, God gives them the strength to deal with it at that time. So, and really when we do fear, we're not going to show up the way we want to and the most effective, you know, if we're operating from a place of fear, we could be frustrated at the kids, you know, not making the choices, we agree with, it can hurt our relationships with them even so it's important to realize and just take a second to evaluate how am I showing up?

How am I approaching some of these big issues that could even be small issues um with my Children and just self evaluative, how you are showing up and how your parenting, right? Because it's really important to think of big picture, big picture. So if I'm reacting this way because I'm afraid and so I'm trying to keep them from something or protect them from something that might not be the most beneficial, right? We want our kids to make good choices, but also what happens because of fear. We might control more and so we might pick out what they wear or control their food or control, you know their schedule or because we can be coming from a place of fear and so it's really important to look into that and just evaluate, you know, how am I doing this? How am I showing up? Am I filled with a lot of fear? Am I teaching them from a place of fear or parenting from a place of fear? Um and just remember to give it to God, Gosh, I can't tell you, I've, you know, from going from last week, the contrast to this week and just refocusing and re centering and making a priority every morning, going on my prayer walk, praying for my Children, praying for my marriage, praying for the world um that I have so much more clarity being tied closer to the spirit through prayer really, so much so last week I was a mess because I'm like oh these things are coming up and I don't know what to do and but then re centering and refocusing, its just okay, you know, pick myself up, let's go, let's do this, you know, let's praying, giving it all you God, I will do my best, but I'm giving it and just being really being diligent, Yeah, that's it and staying faithful.

If we keep our eyes fixed on jesus, he's gonna work everything else out. It's funny because I'm taking notes while we're talking with a pen and it was a women's retreat I went to and it says fearless. So I'm holding in my hand right now, Pen that says fearless. And isn't that a great way to parent and fearless parents even upper case? The less fear less? Yes, that's yeah, that's not what my pen says, but that's a great point. Less. Yeah, not more well, parenting fears are totally normal. We both as moms have had them. I still, I have adult Children, I still have fears. They're they're different and I know how to counteract it. You know, I fight it. I'm praying that my faith will be bigger than my fears. But yeah, it's real and it's big and one of the things to is find support. You know, we need support whether, you know, you're you coach stayed home moms, which you offer that great support because that is a common thing. I think more so with moms of younger Children than for mine, my age group, but find support.

You know, join a coaching program, find a coach, find a support group, just find some support because it is tough. I was fortunate that I had a great group of women uh in my church at the time when my kids were little, we're pretty tight so we could kind of go through it together and talk through it together. So that's really important. So I want to close out with a scripture in Joshua 19 be strong and courageous, do not be afraid, do not be discouraged for the Lord Your God will be with you. And I really think when we're afraid we're also discouraged to kind of they go hand in hand for sure. So we just want to encourage you to remember your faith is greater than your fear. Go to the source. Give all your worries and anxieties and petitions to God because he is with you. He is walking with you and will help you with your fears with dealing with some of these big things that are going on in the world these days. And even small day to day things as well. And again, always check us out at our website. We would love to connect with you if you want that extra support.

We are here Claudine with her program for empty nesters and myself for stay at home moms. We are here and want to help you in your journey of motherhood. So we wish you a wonderful rest of the week and we'll be back right here next week. Alright, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today. Here on the rise up and Shine podcast, if you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button. So you never miss an episode. And while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites. You can catch Claudine over at Claudine Sweeney dot com and Ashley at Mind over chaos dot com. Our links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember, ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life. Mm hmm.

Ep. 114 How to Deal with Parenting Fears
Ep. 114 How to Deal with Parenting Fears
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