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How to Raise an Independent Child with Less Fear

By Julie Ryan Evans
Reviewed by Susan Ko, Ph.D.
September 29, 2022

In parenting, anxious feelings may start with running to the baby’s crib in the middle of the night to make sure they’re still breathing. Maybe pangs of fear appear when thinking about the perils of sharp corners when they learn to walk. Those worried thoughts can crop up the first time a teen wants to go to the mall with their friends or drive a car. And may continue as they date, move out, or embark on a career.

As kids progress through the typical stages of childhood, adolescence, and then adulthood, parents often feel a sense of pride that they’re progressing. But sometimes those milestones also come with hand-wringing and sleepless nights. The challenge is to find a balance that helps prepare children for an independent life despite our own feelings of anxiety.

A mental health professional can help you find strategies to help you manage your anxiety—getting help is especially important if it’s affecting your day-to-day functioning. For most parents, balance can be achieved.