Mrs. Havey, North Oakview School Social Worker, came to speak about ANXIETY IN CHILDREN at the PTC meeting tonight. It was AMAZING because I felt a great, real bond with the other parents who attended the meeting, quite simply because we were LEARNING together. Thank you, Mrs. Havey. Read on if you want to find out what I learned.
-All kids need to eat, sleep, and to have something they ENJOY DOING: a sport or any hobby. Girl scouts…
-Kids ages 2 years – 2nd grade are MAGICAL THINKERS, which is awesome! They truly believe that ANYTHING could happen. The flip side is that when things DO happen, they think that everything that happened is their fault.
-Often anxiety in children manifests as AGGRESSION.
-Mrs. Havey read us the book YOU’VE GOT DRAGONS by Kathryn Cave, which is a book she often reads to students who experience anxiety. The book emphasizes the most important thing to do when a person is faced with anxiety: NAME IT. Validate it.
EXAMPLE: Your kid has a bit of extra aggression one night, and you find out that there was a substitute teacher at school that day. First of all, know that you are doing a GREAT job parenting because your kid knows they are SAFE with you and CAN let their guard down, finally, after holding it in all day. To validate your kid’s anxiety, you could say something like, “I’m wondering if it was really frustrating that you had a substitute teacher today because he probably didn’t know the routine, or how to do lunch count…” (Even though of course our amazing teachers do a great job prepping our kids and their subs for their time together. You get my point about validating, right?)
-Bibliotherapy is what it is called when you READ to your kids to help them cope with issues. Love. We aim to post lists of books to help kids cope with various issues as we receive recommendations.
-As parents (and teachers) we need to show children that WE think they can do it. (Support them; don’t do it for them.)
-The goal is for parents to be in tune with their children. You are on their team. Your face lights up when they walk in the room. YOU ARE THEIR FIRST CHEERLEADER.
-Seek additional support when your child’s anxiety interferes with their sleeping, eating, or school performance.