Don’t make your child scared of being an adult. It’s not a rare thing for children to feel anxious and scared about growing up. This fear can result from many things ranging from what they watch you go through to the discussions you have. Sometimes, children can become so scared of adulthood that they don’t want to take on specific responsibilities. They perceive adulthood as one unhappy life of stress and therefore don’t want to commit to it.
The chances are high that your child currently has some fears about becoming an adult or is currently dealing with anxiety issues. It’s now left for you to notice these fears, address these fears with your child in a heart-to-heart conversation and ease up on the overly high expectations you have. Your actions and what they see may mean that your child will be scared of becoming an adult.
We have duties as adults to make their future sound appealing and fun. Some to aspire to, be actively involved in, and something to grasp with both hands to shape.
Fears Your Child May Have That Are Associated with Being an Adult
A child may be scared of growing up for numerous reasons. For starters, think back to when you were younger about some of the things you disliked about being an adult – moreover, adulthood frightens adults as well. And if an adult can have anxiety about adulthood, so can a child. What matters most now is the parent’s approach to that child’s fears.
A child can have any of the following fears:
- That being an adult is no fun and nothing but worry. We are all guilty of coming home from work and complaining. Our adult life may be tough. It may be exhausting and little fun. However, we are doing our children a disservice if we present it as such. We can also not complain if they look to other people for excitement or are determined not to be like us. The news is also often quite depressing and, if not able to put it into context, intimidating.
- Fear of who they’ll grow up to be. Right from elementary school, a question often thrown at children is, “who will you grow up to become?” and of course, they usually have different answers. As the years go by, these answers could change, and the fear of whom they’ll grow up to slowly creep in. This fear may make a child shy away from being responsible and make them see adulthood as scary. Most times, if a parent’s expectation for their child turns out to be over-realistic and overbearing, that child may turn out to be a grown adult with certain tendencies – they could be a perfectionist or one obsessed with success.
- Fear of getting old. This is a common fear, even among adults, as most people don’t fancy getting old. Most children believe that almost all older people are grumpy, and they would not want that. There is also the associated fear of death from old age or the death of a loved one or family member. This fear often focuses on the end of a person’s life and ignores the part about a person living and enjoying the life he has now.
- Fear of being alone and separation from parents. Most children fear getting old because with growing up comes the fact that they would have to leave their parents’ house and start living on their own. This starts from when a child is in kindergarten up to when he gains admission into a college.
Signs You’re Putting Too Much Pressure on Your Child
Yes, you want your child to be a star, and you want them to be the class valedictorian or be a pro-basketball player in the future, and that’s why you push them to put in the work; but what if it’s too much?
If your expectations are reasonable, then you can expect your children to meet up with them. However, if you want your child to do more than they can handle, they will most likely give up early. Your child will start exhibiting signs of stress, which can show as physical and psychological symptoms. Below are red signs so you can stop the brakes if you’ve been applying too much pressure on your child. The most you should ever ask of your child is that they are the best version of themselves that they can be.
- You’re too critical. Of course, there’s a place for criticism, but stop if it’s too much. Ask yourself, “Do I criticize everything my child does? Do I rarely shower praises on my child?” If you answer in the affirmative to both questions, then you need to take a step back and change your whole method of approach. Criticism won’t motivate your child to do more, but sincere praise will. So watch out for scenarios where they are good and offer them praise instead of criticism.
- You compare your child to other children. There’s nothing a child hates more than comparison. So constantly comparing your child to their sister or brother or even a friend or schoolmate is a big NO. By so doing, you indirectly put your child in constant competition with others around them, and this isn’t good. Besides, do you know that when a child feels pressured (by comparing them with others), it reduces their willingness to engage in activities in which they excel? Even as your child is growing, you can do better by making them compete with themselves. Competition is one of the best ways to make them bring out their best. Teach them the benefits of learning and continuous practice – this way, they’ll become better than he was yesterday, regardless of the performance of those around them.
- You micromanage all of your child’s activities. There’s a high probability that parents who continually pressure their children, regardless of their fears, are at risk of being control freaks. If you always micromanage your child’s activities like a mother hen to ensure he doesn’t make any mistakes; then, you’re putting too much pressure on your child. When you constantly hover over your child, you stunt their development, and he won’t grow up to be a self-confident adult. Let them make mistakes and let them face the consequences that come with that. It’s part of life, and it will help them become a responsible adult. Growing up isn’t so scary, so why make them scared humans by always watching their steps? Here we look at the signs that you might be expecting too many extra-curricular activities from your children.
- You always lose your cool. Is your child often scared of losing or making a mistake because they’re sure you’ll flare up or get angry with them? Then it’s a sign you’re putting too much pressure on those young shoulders. Don’t let your child become scared of adulthood by being that parent who gets frustrated every time their child doesn’t meet their expectation. Free yourself from the frustration and anger flare-ups by creating a healthy balance. If your child is scared of being an adult, don’t make it extra scary by being that adult who can’t tolerate mistakes. Teach your child to be their best without forcing them to meet any unrealistic expectations.
Final Thoughts on Not Making Your Child Scared of Being an Adult
It’s normal for children to be scared of growing up and always feel pressured to be in the right. Being an adult isn’t always so easy, and children can tell from watching the lives and actions of adults around. It might be that you have your own parental anxiety that you need to address. Or a dissatisfaction with your own life or hang-ups about your own upbringing.
Even as your child grows up with fears, it’s vital for a parent not to overwhelm them with high expectations; but to listen to them with empathic ears, always maintain a positive attitude, and again, always listen.