Anxiety often has a genetic component. “In general, we find that an anxious child comes with anxious parents, grandparents, or siblings,” says Dr. Fornari. But they won’t always have the same disorder. In other words, while your dad may have generalized anxiety, your daughter may have separation anxiety.
However, if anxiety does run in your family, there’s no need to sound the alarm. Many factors come into play in the development of an anxiety disorder. Genetics is one factor, but so is brain chemistry, personality, and life events.
And while parenting style doesn’t cause anxiety, it can reinforce it. This is especially difficult for parents who have issues with anxiety themselves. You know how it feels to be anxious, so your own fears and anxieties may come into play as you parent. If you rush in to comfort your child whenever he shows the tiniest inkling of anxiety, he will never learn how to soothe himself.