Tag Archives: health

Full of Anxt

22 Jun

It’s 1:30am and as I see the panic in my son’s eyes I wish there was something I could do to take away his anxiety. As an adult who lives with anxiety, I have developed coping skills to deal with my racing mind and sometimes heart. I know to breathe deeply and remind myself that all is well. How do you teach your child to do the same?

At the young age of 9, it started. Well, in hindsight, I think it started when he was a toddler however it became full-blown at age 9 with the prospect of changing schools in the fall. Sleep became a distant dream on Sunday evenings. School became a place that only caused panic and uneasiness. Did he have to go to school on Monday morning?

From the girl who shared horror stories on the bus ride home if he did not share his iPod, to the cool boys who got mad when he missed the goal or did not kick the ball hard enough during recess soccer, to the super hero movies he so wanted to watch but that caused him increased anxiety…it all took a toll. I wanted to shelter him from it all.

My heart ached for him and we saw his school grades plummet by the end of the school year. What happened to my easy-going son, who engaged in enthusiastic conversation, smiled often and made people laugh. I wanted him to feel happy again and not to worry at such a young age about so many things. I wanted to keep him at his old school where everyone knew his name to call out when he walked past them in the hallway, the teachers and I were on a first name basis from my active volunteering, where the classrooms and staff were familiar.

Changing schools was much more challenging than we ever anticipated. Though he was in the same class as his one of his best friends, he still seemed lost at recess, felt overwhelmed with the larger two-floor school. There was a lack of the use of technology that he loved in his old school. Now school was a boring place where he sat in his seat all day and had to write and print everything in a workbook. It seemed there was little in school that engaged him to want to learn anymore. How sad to find school that boring?! 

We are happy to see the end of this school year because it means no homework struggles every evening, no more tears of frustration over how much of a page he had to fill with sentences. He is higher than normal in the range of anxiety for boys his age. I will not pursue an IEP with further assessment. I will not label him to further increase his anxiety about standing out as different. I will not give him prescription drugs. I simply want him to learn some coping techniques, to learn how to identify the feelings of anxiety, frustration, or worry and use his new skills to relax. Is that too much to ask?


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