If you worry about your kids all the time; if you visualize the absolute worst when they don't answer your texts within five minutes; if you literally sweat when they want to try something new and independent-you probably have oversensitive mental "panic buttons," and it's probably causing unnecessary stress for you and the kids. Here are a few common panic buttons, with suggestions for disconnecting them and wiring in healthier replacements.
One downside of the Information Age is that it's so good at helping us find new things to worry about. A cat can hardly sneeze in Tokyo anymore without being labeled the first harbinger of a pandemic in Topeka.
It's scary to see your children aspiring to dangerous goals (dangerous in terms of physical, financial, or social risks). It's as scary when they seem content with no goals at all. Either way, you can get panicked into constant nagging-which can seriously hurt the parent-child relationship.
The opposite extreme from the parent who dictates "the road my kids must take," is the one who's too afraid of "hurting their feelings" to offer any direction. A life with no boundaries is as dangerous as a life with no freedom.
Too many parents regard a 99 percent score as a catastrophe. The more we focus on mistakes, the more mistakes are made-and the more our children identify with them.