Challenging parent behavior model can reduce risk of anxiety in children, says study

Challenging parent behavior model can reduce risk of anxiety in children, says study

Anxiety is not just a response to a stressful event or a disease that runs down in families due to genes. Certain situations in life can play an important role in leading to the problem or worsening the problem. According to a recent study, parents who keep a close watch on their children can actually exacerbate the anxiety in their children. As opposed to helicopter parenting where parents tend to become overprotective about their children, those who use the challenging parent behavior (CPB) model help their kids grow up in competitive environments, thereby, reducing their risk of developing anxiety.

The study also suggested that fathers of sons were more likely to engage their children in combative and competitive activities as opposed to parents of daughters who were more likely to be conscious of their child’s frailty. The research, conducted by the Macquarie University’s Centre for Emotional Health, the University of Amsterdam, and the University of Reading, studied 312 families from Australia and Netherlands with preschool-aged children and found that parents who received high scores in CPB methodology had children with lower risk of anxiety disorder symptoms.

Simply put, CPB approach is one in which parents encourage their children to take certain risks, such as encouraging the child to ride a bicycle without adult supervision or telling the child to take a tumble even if it results in minor injuries. In this approach, parents actively engage in pushing the child both verbally as well as physically to go beyond their tolerance levels. Unlike other parenting approaches, CPB does not appreciate mollycoddling the youth. Parents play it rough with their kids, and even beat them in the games that they play. Such a spirit fosters a healthy spirit of sportsmanship. Children who continue to remain under the protection of their parents grow up overtly sensitive and anxiety-prone.

Advantages of CPB over helicopter parenting

One of the major benefits of the CPB model is that it helps healthy child development in a natural and caring environment. Some of the other advantages are underlined below:

  • All human beings have fears and some of those are responsible for keeping a person awake at night. It is also the chief source of one’s anxiety. However, when one is taught from his or her childhood to take challenges head on, there are lesser risks of people being haunted at night by their failures.
  • Helicopter parented adults need their mother or father around before they make important decisions. They always need some kind of validation. Having lived in a cocoon for long, such individuals find it hard to break free and have symbiotic relationships with their spouse, colleague or friend, who could find role-playing extremely tiresome. Such fearful and conscious people could be mocked for failing to act like a confident adult, which could exacerbate their anxiety.
  • An early exposure to the downsides of life, such as falling off a bicycle and finding no support nearby, or losing a game and realizing that no one really cares, prepares the child to face life in its highs and lows. In contrast, a child who lived a fettered life where all his or her needs, emotional, physical or materialistic were met without delay, is likely to get bewildered when he or she steps out of home and finds no one to do their bidding. They could either become social recluses or delusional living in a world where everything is as they wish it to be.
  • A child who engages in a rough and tumble with his parent builds his or her confidence. The child knows that he/she will be able to handle social situations with ease, unlike an adult who steps away from his parent’s shadow for the first time. The child develops relationships with his peers, colleagues and acquaintances much happily. On the other hand, a child who has had overly protective parents is more likely to be shy and socially withdrawn.

Treatment for anxiety disorders

Anxiety disorders are one of the common mental illnesses in the world. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), they impact lives of 40 million adults (nearly 18 percent) in the United States, with 25 percent of 13-18-year-olds being afflicted with the disease in a given year. Anxiety can make people extremely fearful and sometimes can even drive them toward suicide.

Fortunately, anxiety disorders can be controlled with medication, cognitive behavioral therapy and other experiential treatments. If you or your loved one is struggling with anxiety-related problems, connect with Sovereign Health, which is one of the leading treatment centers for anxiety disorders in California. Our trained experts provide evidence-based treatment to facilitate fast recovery and help a patient enjoy better quality of life. Call at our 24/7 helpline 866-973-7164 or chat online with one of our counselors to know more about our anxiety disorders treatment in California.

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