Monday, July 9, 2012

Parenting an Anxious Child

We all suffer from anxieties from time to time. Well, I'm no psychologist, but I think we do. I have certainly done enough reading into managing anxieties to believe that we all go through it in some way. Some people more than others, obviously.

I have anxieties, and so does my 7 year old daughter. I fear that I have in some projected my anxieties onto her. Even though our fears and anxieties are quite different. The good news in though, In trying to help her, I have actually helped myself. I'm probably it the best place that I have been for years. But Ardyn's still need work.

Her issue is dogs - animals in general. She has never been attacked, never had a negative experience with an animal (that I can pinpoint anyway), but has a complete meltdown whenever exposed to them. Strike that, USED to. She's a hell of a lot better now, but that's come at a cost of 12 months therapy and some very hard work from us as a family, and our close friends. We have had a hell of a lot of people on board managing this, and I am grateful for all of them.

Ardyn's therapy has come to an end. Her therapist said that there's nothing more thats he can do. We have all the tools and need to move forward and work through it.
It's a slow slog, but we're getting there. It's a continual process at the moment, and I have to keep remembering that.

Why am I sharing this? Well, if anyone reads this Blog, they know that I share everything (well, just about). But this time I have found a process and a couple of books that seem to be doing the trick. I had to share, just in case you are a parent to an anxious child.

Parenting Your Anxious Child with Mindfulness and Acceptance - Christopher McCurry Ph.D
Introduced me to the idea of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, and gave me tools to help my kids let go of fears and worries without creating avoidance issues (I have found out that avoiding your worries is not good. Better to accept them and deal with them - sounds simple when you're not dealing with a 7 year old).

What to do When you Worry too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety - Dawn Huebner
Recommended for 6-12 year olds and uses Cognitive Behaviour Therapy to help kids become aware of their worries and work out new ways of dealing with them. It is a hands-on workshop type book that has kids writing and drawing their way through their worries. Ardyn has found it very useful.

There is also a heap of stuff on the net, but be careful or you can get overwhelmed with all the information out there. But in taking a positive from that, you can take solace in the fact that you are not alone. There are many parents out there with anxious kids, and I am one of them.

Accepting it, and dealing with it - and sharing.
K x

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Hmmm some interesting reading there.

You are doing such a great job with Ardyn!