Raising an Anxious Kid
My son is an anxious kid – no, really he is. He falls apart easily when there’s a change in routine, if he thinks we are going to be late or if he thinks we haven’t returned his library books on time. Think Woody Allen at the age of six.
At one point, we were having him see a therapist, but it’s hard to counsel a little kid. He can’t exactly sit on a couch and talk about where his parents went wrong raising him. What we were seeking were some coping mechanisms that he could use to calm himself down when he started to feel like he was falling apart.
And it CAN be frustrating at times. The other night we arrived to his little league football practice late and he had a meltdown. I tried to talk him through it but my husband wanted to try and toughen him up a bit so he gave him five minutes to pull himself together or we were going to take him home. We went home.
And then I started to worry that maybe we WERE coddling him too much. Maybe he needed to see for himself that the world would not end if you were late to an event. He’s not going to learn how to cope in situations if we remove him from the situations that make him upset. As he gets older, life is going to get tougher and perhaps we aren’t doing him any favors by sheltering him the way we do.
I often hope that he’ll grow out of this…but hey, Woody Allen ended doing ok for himself!