Connecticut Families: How your anxiety can rub off on your child

Connecticut Families

(WTNH)– Research from the National Academy of Sciences suggests parents with anxiety are more likely to have kids with anxiety.

When Tiffany Baker’s first born was three, he had typical toddler fears.

“He was scared of the dark. He was scared of thunderstorms. He was scared of strangers,” said Baker.

But when Milo showed more unusual fears, like worrying about the shower turning on when he was in the bath, Tiffany did something unusual. She looked inward and suspected her sons anxieties were a product of her own, rather than a true mental health disorder

“I’m an anxious flyer, I’m an anxious car-rider, I’ve just been an anxious person,” said Baker.

So to help her son, Tiffany sought therapy for herself. She wrote about her experience for the online magazine Motherly, adding “the writing was on the wall: my anxiety had become a problem.”

“The wisdom I received from being in therapy was that the better option was to help him face what he was afraid of,” said Baker.

Over time she learned mindful breathing to calm her own anxiety. She changed her language with her son, replacing “be careful” with a calmer “let me know if you need help.”

“I make sure that I communicate to him that I believe in him, that I think he’s capable,” said Baker.

Today Milo is a well-adjusted 9-year-old who takes risks and pitches for his baseball team.

Tiffany still sees a therapist once a month to keep her anxiety in check and she started a Facebook group called “Fearless Mothering” to support other anxious moms.

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