Letting Go of Fear-Filled Parenting

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Fear turns us into defensive parents who can't admit our mistakes. But humility pushes fear aside. It lets us recover from our mistakes and, more importantly, lets our children recover from them as well.

Focus on your hopes, not your fears.

So much parental paranoia is based in our worries about what will become of our children if we don't do everything right. So some of us drive our kids to get A's because we're afraid they won't get into the very best college.

Others rail against parents who drive their kids to get A's because we're afraid we've been too lax. But the flip side of fear is hope, hope that our children will grow up to have healthy relationships and satisfying lives. When we parent out of those hopes instead of our fears, even our missteps become opportunities to help our children thrive.

Fearful parenting can look like a lot of things, from the "tiger mother" with huge expectations for her daughters, to the defensive reader who needs to shout down any model of parenting that puts her way into question.

But when we turn away from fear, parenthood becomes what it was meant to be; an imperfect, ever-changing, deeply satisfying relationship between a parent and a child.

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