Skip Nav
Halloween Costumes 2018
These Easy Thomas the Tank Engine Halloween Costumes Will Make Kids Scream "All Aboard!"
Halloween
Halloween Merchandise Is Popping Up All Over Disneyland, and We'll Take It All, Please
Home Shopping
Parents Can't Get Enough of These Cozy Bean Bags That Turn Into Full-Size Beds
Halloween
Take Me to Your Leader, Target! These Halloween Drinking Glasses Are Perfection
Gifts For Women
The Best Gifts For Moms Whose Favorite Word Is the F-Word

What It's Like to Have a Child With Anxiety

This Is What It's Like to Have a Child That Suffers From Extreme Anxiety

Most children get nervous and anxious sometimes, especially when it comes to big life changes, like starting a new school year or trying out for a sport. Having butterflies in your stomach during these moments is completely normal. My young daughter, however, suffers from anxiety during big and little moments in life, and many times, it can be very severe.

One instance in particular comes to mind. She had spent two years taking ballet and loved every minute of it. She had memorized every dance move and was ready to perform for an audience. When it was time for her first ballet recital, though, she was am emotional mess. At 5 years old, she had a full-blown anxiety attack backstage. She was crying, sweating, and shaking all over, and there wasn't anything I could do to help calm her down. I remember feeling incredibly sad for my daughter. I also remember feeling helpless and guilty, because I — her own mother — was at a loss about how to help her.

On a smaller scale, everyday things that aren't a big deal to most kids are a huge deal to my daughter. Some situations where she might experience anxiety are taking a simple spelling test, playing a new video game, and even going on a playdate. Her anxiety is there all the time, and it's a daily struggle for her to get through, just as it is for me to watch her go through it.

ADVERTISEMENT

But as a mother to a child with anxiety, I've slowly learned how to handle things. When something big is going to happen soon, I now give my daughter plenty of time to prepare. We talk about what will happen, how she may feel, and how we can get through her big feelings. This may include watching videos about it, drawing a picture, or writing her feelings down. I have her practice breathing exercises she can use when she can feel her anxiety creeping up on her. I have her practice a grounding technique in which she uses her five senses to calm her mind and body. And she also sees a therapist, because it greatly benefits her to be able to talk about things with someone other than me.

Sometimes these techniques work and sometimes they don't, but as she gets older, she's realizing what works best for her. Her anxiety monster will continue to try to wreak havoc, but as she continues to practice her anti-anxiety attack techniques, I'm confident she'll be able to keep her anxiety monster in the closet.

From Our Partners
Can Stress Make PCOS Worse?
Why Miranda Bailey Is the Best Grey's Anatomy Character
Easy Ways to Calm Kids Down
Morning Routine For 3-Year-Old
Ways to Help Children With Anxiety
Parenting a Strong-Willed Child
Morning Routine With 8-Month-Old Baby
I'm a Special Needs Mom, and I Hate Birthday Parties
How to Get Your Kid to Focus
How to Wear Dresses For Fall 2018
Divorce Lawyer Shares Marriage Advice
Movies That Are Too Scary For Children
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds