Parenting a child with anxiety
Parenting

Parenting a child with Anxiety

By on October 14, 2016

Our 7yr old has been dealing with Generalized Anxiety Disorder for a couple years now. It wasn’t easy getting to the point of diagnosis. Anxiety in children isn’t easy to diagnose. It doesn’t always manifest as what most people think of Anxiety is. For Daniella it started out in her toddler years with being scared of high surfaces like changing tables in public bathrooms, then its progressed over time to being scared she was going to fall out of her car seat, scared to be alone in a room, etc. We’ve dealt with being scared to sleep, transition anxiety and scared to go to school despite once she’s there she has zero problems. Learning how to adjust our parenting for her has been a process. So we’ve being working actively with her therapist and pediatrician to help her cope with this as best we can.

Parenting a Child with Anxiety

Parenting a Child with Anxiety

Finding ways to help her cope

One thing I think has helped a lot these past few weeks is our home made gummies. They are made with a magnesium supplement, the Magnesium and gelatin are natural calming ingredients. Since Magnesium regulates an overactive nerve impulse it helps to calm the physical affects of anxiety. You can find the our recipe here. We take a couple of gummies every night after dinner and she’s been sleeping calmer and we haven’t had any issues getting to school the last few weeks.

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We’ve also learned alot from this website, we used the advice to talk to her about her anxiety, we explained about the part of her brain that tells her to fight or flight and how it can get confused and makes her think she needs to be scared when she doesn’t need to be. She named her amygdala ‘Warrior Unicorn’ (she loves unicorns). We also learned a lot from the Child Mind website, it’s given us great ideas to help us all work through it and cope.

Another thing that’s helped is giving her an artistic outlet. When it was back to school deals in the store, we stock up on the $.10 spiral notebooks and we let her draw and color her feelings. When she has anxiety over sleeping, letting her draw out her thoughts gets it out of her head. After we draw it out she puts it in her feelings box. We took a kleenex box and covered it with scrap book paper, and let her decorate it.

We’ve picked up a few of these books to read together, this also gives us an opportunity to talk about any issues and problem solve ways to help in the future.

 

Growing more patience

The biggest thing we’ve learned as parents is patience and empathy. Daniella is the epitome of empathetic. She has shown us how to be caring, understanding, and patient. We’ve learned to not dismiss her fears, and let her talk out her feelings. We deal with a lot of melt downs over seemingly small things. But in her mind these feel like real giant problems.

It’s so hard as her parents to see her struggle, I’m so blessed we have a good team, and she has a great outlook on tackling it. I look forward to reading more online on how other parents are helping their kids go through this and tools that have helped them cope.

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4 Comments
  1. Reply

    memyselfandmommy

    November 5, 2016

    My son is a worrier and I never thought of it as anxiety. I have some research to do, now. The idea of letting her draw out her feelings is a great idea, thank you! #momsterlink

  2. Reply

    DomesticatedMomster

    November 6, 2016

    As an adult I suffer from anxiety and panic attacks and can’t even begin to imagine if I have passed it on to any of my children as I can remember in my early childhood being stressed to the point of holding my breath until nearly passing out. I have started to see small signs in my 5 year old and like you try and talk it out with her. I might have to try your recipe for the gummies and see if I notice any difference. Thanks so much for linking with #momsterslink.

  3. Reply

    April M.

    November 30, 2016

    Just when you think you are the only one out there dealing with this! My daughter has been dealing with GAD since age 3. It started with lengthy tantrums and meltdowns over the smallest things, she was irritable, and seemed to be worried/stressed out about situations that weren’t average for her age. Being that I was an anxiety sufferer that debuted around age 9-10 I had my fears. Once she hit age 4, I took her to see a counselor who confirmed my worse fears. I did not want her to have to deal with everything I did as a child. All of the worrying……it’s a burden and it’s exhausting. We are 2 years in and while I can say progress has been made, I am facing challenges I never imagined. Somewhere around age 5, a visit to a cavern triggered a 3 month stint of my daughter fearing my death was imminent. Why in the world is my 5 year old terrified of me dying?!? She would wake up several times at night just to make sure I was breathing. She would help me walk, sit cautiously close to me, and ask me if I was sick and feeling okay constantly. I felt helpless for her and wanted to take away all of her worries. But I knew exactly how she felt during every meltdown and every fit of anxiety rage when she was so frustrated she couldn’t use her words to tell me how she felt. I had been there. Now, she is struggling academically because she is worrying about her schoolwork and over-analyzing everything. She is also a perfectionist as well, and is very critical of herself (generally goes hand in hand with GAD). My advise to you is to practice patience (which is hardddddd so days!) and know that you are not alone in this journey! We can only hope that they use all of this strong will to do something amazing in the world one day 🙂

    • Reply

      Shauna

      December 7, 2016

      It is so good to connect with other parents going through the same thing as you. It’s still a big struggle some days, but we are making good progress with the help of a good counselor and supportive schools staff. Hugs to your family!

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