Your child gets anxious, stressed and fearful. You feel torn between supporting and comforting your child and pushing him/her past their comfort zones. Both options create a lot of disruption and chaos at home. At times, you and your partner sometimes disagree on how to respond. This just causes more fights. You feel stress, wondering how your child will respond to things and what battles you might face in guiding him/her through today. You have no idea where the balance is and you swing between worrying that you are sometimes hurting her/him and also enabling too much. You wonder what why your child is so afraid and upset all of the time. Did you do something wrong? Is there something wrong with him/her? Your child is sick a lot, complains of headaches and tummy aches. S/he may erupt in yelling, aggression, withdrawal or explode in tears–all of this drawing a lot of negative attention and unhelpful feedback that only worsens the situation. You feel like your child needs help and you are unsure of how best to support him/her.
You want your child to feel secure and confident. You want to see him/her fully engaging in the activities offered, performing well at school, and having strong and meaningful connections to others. You want her/him to be HAPPY. You wish you knew how to teach your little one how to manage his/her worries and fears. The emotions are so big and so strong. They overwhelm your child and even you. Perhaps people have accused you of coddling and yet, you often feel guilty like your responses are too harsh. You get angry and frustrated as nothing you do seems to help. You are desperate to learn how to support and help your child grow, learn and overcome these challenges.
Anxiety is a normal emotion. However, some children are simply wired to feel more intensely and many may experience anxiety at a more intense and frequent level than others. It does not mean that you did anything wrong. In fact, there is nothing actually wrong with your child. However, I can help you develop and learn strategies to more effectively respond to your child’s anxiety and stress. This will, in turn, help you to manage your own. I can also teach you, and your child, how to better regulate and navigate the big emotions so that they no longer manage your lives. Childhood is an excellent time to learn these coping tools–as kids are often eager to practice as they too want to feel better. There is hope. I have worked nearly 20 years with kids and families facing similar stressors and I can help you too.
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