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The Latest Research On Worrying Gives Parents One Less Thing To Worry About

According to a new white paper from Liberty Mutual Insurance, 2 out of 5 Americans worry daily, which is probably the same ratio as the amount of people who have kids. Worrying has always seemed like a part of the parent job description, so if concerns about your youngsters aren’t taking years off your life, you’re presumably doing it wrong. Rest assured, the insurance companies report has some good news: you will worry less as you get older.

The “Worry Less Report,” (better known by dads as the “Don’t Tell Me What To Do Data”) cited research from the National Survey of Psychiatric Morbidity that looked at the worrying habits of 8,000 people ages 16-74. On average men worried mostly about work, while women were concerned about relationships and health. This may explain why your spouse wants to talk about her feelings when you have emails to send, but you both lose sleep over your kids in equal measure. The report found that parents often worry about the worst case scenario as a means of self protection. Simply put, you worry about the worst case scenario because you believe that will keep it from happening. It’s the same logic that keeps your heart guarded during playoff season.

Now, for an irony so damn rich, Alanis Morrissette should write a new song about it: The report cited an additional survey of the olds (your definition, not your kid’s) that said their biggest regret was worrying so much. For moms and dads, it’s obviously easier to let go of certain anxieties as your kids get older, since they think more and run into things less. And then they become teenagers. The worry road is a long one, but eventually you’ll only have one thing to agonize over and that’s being so damn old.

[H/T] The New York Times