One of the things I have noticed with my first born is that she exhibits signs of anxiety like I have, however, she is going through a lot that she is unable to “fix” because well she “isn’t old enough”, which I think is out right ridiculous because at age 10 she is pretty right on with being realistic in what she needs to have a stable, well balanced life. I am not so sure I would have been that able to be so realistic about things at her age, but she is. The issue with having so much on her mind that she is not “allowed” to fix to be a better way, is that she ends up with major anxiety. Sometimes this anxiety can go into what appears to be an anxiety or panic attack. That is when I get nervous because her heart will feel tense or achy after she has been having anxious feelings over something.
Having anxiety myself and being able to relate to children on an amazing level that allows for friendship and trust, I am able to calm my daughter down when she is having an anxiety attack, usually before it hits that point. Case in point; last night my daughter forgot she had to make paper planes for science class. To me this was no big deal, she remembered, even if she remembered at bedtime — she remembered before being in school the next day! Instead of simply working to get her paper airplanes made and finished so I could tuck her back into bed, she went into this intense “what if this and what if that” mode. It was insane. It was like talking to a wall; she was convinced she had no clue how to make paper airplanes and parents were not allowed to make a demonstration of an airplane, the kids had to make this 100% on her own.
Since Ki was over tired, she was not thinking straight which only made her anxiety and ability to be realistic and think clearly more difficult. I was frustrated as a parent, watching her butt heads with all of my creative ideas, tips and suggestions on how to move forward in making her airplanes. No matter what I said to her, she was simply not having it. In tears, heavy breathing, looking all over tired and sad, I stepped away leaving her with the words of “why not wait until the morning since you are clearly over tired, all worked up and cannot think clearly at this moment. In the morning, you can make the airplanes and test them while I am making your breakfast, we can laugh, smile and have fun with it” Of course Ki was being so over tired ridiculous that she just couldn’t even handle that idea, she had 100 what if’s behind why the morning would not work either, but stated that time of night didn’t work for her either. It was seriously to the point where, as her Mom, I had to tell her what was going to happen on the topic of these dang airplanes.
She was to go to sleep now and we would talk, laugh and smile in the morning while I watched her make her airplanes. For now, she needed her sleep so she could think clearly. I stepped away from her bedroom to let this statement sink in, after all sometimes people need a few moments to collect their thoughts when overwhelmed. or over tired.
Next thing I know Ki is laying in bed, all ready for sleep but crying because at this point her chest started to hurt. She was too worked up to calm herself down, so in my best calm mommy voice ever I sang her our personal mom/daughter song “You are My Sunshine” and before I left her room, I knelt down, whispered in her ear – now think of that song, of me singing it to you, and that is all you need to think about right now. Thinking of Mama’s sweet voice, calmly singing you are my sunshine should help you to pass out.
As I walked away my daughter says “I love you Mama. Thank you.” And then she passed out snug as a bug in a rug.