Anxious Parenting Series Week 3: Strategies for Parenting Anxious Pre-Schoolers and Elementary Schoolers

Anxious Parenting Series Week 3: Strategies for Parenting Anxious Pre-Schoolers and Elementary Schoolers

“My child won’t go to school anymore - now what?”

Children with anxiety often have trouble in the school setting, regardless of how that anxiety is presenting. You may have a child with separation anxiety, generalized anxiety, or specific fears about the school environment. All three of these diagnoses can play out in a myriad of ways - but regardless of how the anxiety looks, it can leave you feeling helpless as a parent.

Anxiety often becomes more noticeable in elementary school, because of the environment.

There’s a huge switch from getting to stay at home or in a small daycare to having to attend school 5 days of the week.

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Anxious Parenting Series Week 2: Managing Your Anxiety as a Parent and Wanting the Best for Your Child (While Managing Your Stress and Theirs)

Anxious Parenting Series Week 2: Managing Your Anxiety as a Parent and Wanting the Best for Your Child (While Managing Your Stress and Theirs)

You have a lot of needs to meet as a parent.

You want your child to be fed, but fed the best version of homemade, organic, local and nutritious meals - and oh yeah, you have your own food blog to document this and help other families.

You want your child to have self-esteem, and you want that self-esteem built at a prestigious private school, which doesn’t come cheap. But you have to give your child every opportunity that you can!

You want your child to have friends, but the right friends - friends who are also considering top colleges, or looking at the peace corps, and you want your kid to be influenced by these very driven peers.

You set your child up for as much success as you can…

So what to you do when they still have anxiety, and it feels like your fault?

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Anxious Parenting Series Week 1: The Building Blocks of Your Child's Anxiety

Anxious Parenting Series Week 1: The Building Blocks of Your Child's Anxiety

Parenting an anxious child can be anxiety provoking in and of itself.

And if you’re a parent who is already prone to anxiety, seeing your child develop their anxiety can bring up some uncomfortable emotions for yourself. Many parents I work with report feeling guilt, shame, anger, frustration, fear, sadness, and so on about the impact that their anxiety has on their kids.

But what if we took a step back from all the shame and guilt?

Let’s figure out what goes into anxiety before blaming ourselves.

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Anxious Parenting Series

Anxious Parenting Series

“Am I making my child’s anxiety worse?”

“I always was anxious as a kid, and so I’m worried my child gets it from me.”

“I have anxiety, too, so I know it’s my fault.”

Parents often call me with these questions and comments. As a parent, it can be hard when you see your child struggling with the exact same issues that you had. You want to help them, and you also feel a little bit…guilty. Maybe it’s your fault they’re this way.

But it’s really not your fault

And feeling guilty, even if it makes sense, doesn’t make things easier. So let’s take a step back and figure out what is leading to your child’s anxiety in the first place.

Starting next week, we’ll begin our 8 week series on anxiety and parenting - and there’s a lot that we’ll be digging into:

  1. The Building Blocks of Anxiety

  2. Managing Your Own Anxiety as a Parent

  3. Parenting Anxious Pre-Schoolers and Elementary Schoolers

  4. Anxiety and Parenting a Child with Anger Management Issues (spoiler: it’s probably anxiety related as well!)

  5. Perfectionism and Parenting Your Highschooler

  6. Preparing Your Highschooler for College

  7. Out of the Nest: How to Parent Your Anxiety-Driven College Student

  8. Moving Forward and Next Steps

That’s a lot of info… so why am I covering all of this?

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Dealing With a Panic Attack At School: Proven Strategies That Work

Dealing With a Panic Attack At School: Proven Strategies That Work

Nobody enjoys having a panic attack…

But they're particularly awful when they happen at school. On top of experiencing all of those physical symptoms - shortness of breath, tense muscles, pounding heart - you're worried about how other people will respond to you. 

One of the most helpful first steps is to find a calm area, alone, and go there.

This can be as simple as leaving to use the restroom and finding a stall to sit in - you can always let your teacher know you had to leave for the restroom, and few people will want any details if that's your excuse. 

In the moment, try to ground yourself.

I like to use the 5 Senses Scavenger Hunt - name one thing that you see, one thing that you hear, one thing that you smell, one thing that you can physically touch, and check in with how your mouth tastes. This helps bring you back into your body and the moment. 

Next, try focusing on slowing your breathing.

Try breathing in through your nose for

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