Worry, stress, doubt, insecurity, fear. Feelings of anxiety can affect people of all ages, but when they start to take hold of your young children you can often feel helpless as a parent, although you would do anything to make them feel better.
Children can suffer from anxiety to the point where it can be debilitating for themselves and their surrounding family members. Sure, some level of stress and worry is normal for everyone, but when it starts to prevent your children from enjoying their day to day life then it’s time to seek further help.
I have experienced a time like this with one of my daughters. It began with a refusal to go to school or extracurricular activities, many teary episodes and complaints of a sore stomach. Then the vomiting started followed by the panic attacks.
The worries had taken over and were controlling her every thought and action. It was awful to see my usually confident, smiling daughter this way. It was also very frustrating as even my daughter didn’t even understand why she was having these feelings and there were no particular incidents pinpointing such strong emotional reactions.
In the end, we sought some professional help for our daughter and it made a massive difference. It taught her, and us as parents, some fantastic skills that I’m sure not only helped at the time but will see her through the school years and beyond.
Recently when some of these feelings began to flare up again, I quickly pulled out some of the past notes and workbooks to remind us of the techniques we had learned and used. Getting on top of it early certainly made a big difference this time round.
I decided to share this story and some of the techniques we used to help reach out to other parents with children who may be going through a similar situation. I want them to know that they are not the only ones. It can feel extremely isolating when it seems like every other child is happily walking into their classrooms while yours is a complete mess in the school yard or hallway, begging you to take them back home.