Is Your Worry Hurting Your Kids?

Most of us will agree; there are times we worry about our kids.  It’s natural to want the best for those that we love so dearly.  We want our kids to succeed in life with the fewest scrapes on their knees.  We want their happiness, their success, good grades, deep friendships, and college scholarships.  We want them to put their best foot forward, to treat others with kindness, or whatever other things we value most.

So we worry when we think things aren’t going as we think they should.

Our concerns can overwhelm us at times.  Our emotions take hold and the worry can morph into something much bigger than we are currently experiencing.

And we react.  Instead of focusing on the NOW we’re in and doing the next right thing, we start thinking about the future with gloom.

We say things to our kids that communicate our doubts about their future.  And we can become more anxious and judgmental scrutinizing everything they do.

Our worry becomes fear so overpowering that we can’t help but project those thoughts and words into every situation and it clouds rational thinking when it comes to their future.

Let me explain.

There was a time when one of my kids had little interest in school.  He dawdled.  He didn’t do his best work.  Getting him focused seemed insurmountable.  And of course, I worried.  What would his future be?  I remember signing him up for an on-line video course his senior year that would substitute for a required government class.  As luck would have it, he complained and gave me grief the entire semester.

And then his ACT scores were not as high as all his peers.  

So I worried.

Yes, he got into college and then he kept changing his major.

And I worried more sometimes verbalizing my fears that he might never graduate.

As I look back at all my fears for this kid, I can see how much energy I wasted. 

My son found his niche.  He not only graduated from college, but got a masters from a well-known university.  He holds a national license to practice his trade.  He’s found a place where he can be successful.

And the very things I worried about, didn’t happen.  We laugh when we talk about the on-line constitutional law video course that I signed him up for his senior year.  He thinks that was the best class he has ever taken. 

And I worried about it for nothing.

So what did I learn as I think about my worries as a parent?

  1. Focus only on your concerns in the present.   If your kid is struggling with math, get a math tutor.  Make a plan for the present and don’t worry about all the what if’s of the future.
  2. Take your thoughts captive.  If you find yourself thinking about all the issues that could happen in the future, try to reel back to the present.  Ask God to help you focus on today.
  3. Remember God in the equation.  When we worry about our teen’s future we are forgetting that God has a plan for our child.  God created each of us for purpose and He is orchestrating the path.  Worry zaps our energy and keeps us focused on things other than God.
  4. Pray unceasingly when things are overwhelming.  There will be things in our kid’s life that we can’t change.  Pouring out our heart to Him is much more effective than verbalizing our fears to our kid or projecting doom on their future.

We need to remember that our kids will change.  The things they struggle with in junior high and high school will most likely be long forgotten as they mature into adults.  If we can focus on the positives we see in our kids and turn our worries over to a God who loves our kids even more than we do, then we’ll be better able to love our kids in the NOW they are in.

Matthew 6:34

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Philippians 4:6.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” 

  Joshua 1:9

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

“Let go…and Let God”,


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