Question for members who have (or have had) young children.

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Treester
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 3/19/2009 4:37 AM (GMT -7)   
I hope this isn't too off-topic for this forum.  If it is, I apologize.
 
I'm wondering how other parents deal with this.  I've always dealt with anxiety in my own life, and it intensified with the arrival of my first child 4.5 years ago.  Luckily, my anxiety is distributed over all areas of my life - it's not just concentrated on family-related stuff.  I am taking prozac now to help, and working with a therapist as well.
 
Anyway.  I struggle with getting my son involved in things where I'd have to talk to other parents.  I do it, for him, but it's definitely a struggle for me.
 
But also, I'm struggling with his emotional development, and I worry that he's destined to follow in my footsteps.  I'm struggling with what's normal 4.5 yo shyness and what might be a larger issue.  I've talked to his pediatricians, and as I expected, their answer was that kids his age are all over the map.  As long as he doesn't seem to be struggling, they're not too concerned. 
 
I guess the bottom line is, I'm afraid of creating issues for him out of nowhere.  I'm afraid he'll pick up on my anxieties and uneasiness with certain situations and adopt them as his own. 
 
I stay home with him (and a baby sister) so it's all me, all the time.  I don't want to ruin him!

mom2three
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 3/19/2009 6:19 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Treester!

Oh my goodness - "I don't want to ruin him!" - you sound like a very loving, concerned and involved parent - how could that do anything but benefit a child?!

I have three small children ages 1, 2 & 5 years old. Since my anxiety/panic reared its ugly head in late childhood, I am probably hypersensitive like you with regards to watching my children, analyzing their behavior and so forth. It was worse with my first...once I had three and realized how completely different each child could be, I relaxed. Every child is so different with their own personalities. Also seeing other children at preschool has reinforced how wide the range is...odds are, your child's behavior falls right in line with the big bell curve of shyness and other personality traits for a normal 4-5 year old.

With that said, I have to be honest with myself when I know that I have a strong hereditary basis for my panic and 3 children - odds are that one or more of them with inherit some similar traits. The 2 year old is almost 3 and has raised so many "red flags" for me since he was born. But he's adorable and a handful and I'm not going to worry about it unless I see it really affecting his little life. Right now, he seems happy, so I'm happy. One blessing of having dealt with this and having had parents who didn't respond for so long is that I will be right there to step in and help my child if a similar issue arises.

If you struggle with having to talk to other parents, why not arrange playdates at your own home with just the other child? I do it all the time - I just take the other child home from school and the drop him off at his/her house later. It gives my child playtime with a friend and helps her build friendships while I don't have to sit and try to strike up chatty conversation with another mom or worry about having a panic attack in front of her.

We also go to the park a lot where my kids can play with other kids and I can sit on a bench and read or hang with the baby - if I get anxious or nervous, I pop up and "It's time to go home!". We also take lots of trips to the library and similar places. Your son can interact and see other children without you feeling the pressure of making conversation or interacting with other parents. I also started going to the preschool playground after school - it forces me to talk to other moms, but I'm glad to get to know the other children's parents and since we are outside and have my car close by, I can pop them in if I start to feel too uncomfy.

If your son is happy and not struggling, then try to go with the flow and not worry (I know, so much easier said than done!). We worriers project so much on ourselves and our children - we have to battle to stop that projection and let them develop how they will, for better or worse. If you are creating issues, most likely you are creating them for yourself and causing yourself worry...it probably is not affecting him. It's only affecting you!

HUGS - being a mom is tough...and being a mom with anxiety is even tougher! I'm right there with you :)
Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
 


Treester
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 73
   Posted 3/19/2009 10:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Thanks mom2three!

You know what's funny? Part of the reason I'm so twitchy about the other parents is because all the preschool moms are already on their third child and I'm afraid they're judging me. Something about having that #3 makes them all seem more expert than I (in my anxious little brain), even though that sounds ridiculous. They're all very nice.

I live in a wintery climate, so we haven't been to the playground since the baby was born. I'm already looking forward to using her as an excuse to leave if I need to, though. I'm actually kind of relieved to hear that someone else likes to have an escape route all planned out!

babblin5
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 3/19/2009 11:39 AM (GMT -7)   
I can tell by your writing that you are a wonderful mom. Why? Because you care deeply about your children!

Did you know that one of the top concerns that parents have is that other parents are judging them? I guess that makes you and I pretty normal huh? =)

I decided a long time ago that I would stop worrying about whether or not my children "caught" my anxiety issues, because I realized that ALL parents feel anxiety. Anxiety and uncertainty are a part of everyone's lives... we just tend to overreact to it as anxiety disorder people. I decided that if I was successful in one thing as far as my little ones were concerned, it would be that they know that they are loved and will always be loved. Of course, I try and teach them responsibility, accountability, etc., but if they grow up knowing that their father loves them for who they are no matter what, well then, I count that as an ultimate goal.

Love and cherish your children, and know that when you are around other parents, they are more than likely worried about the same things you are. If your children develop issues, then deal with them... but don't try and anticipate them in advance or you'll just be wasting your energy.

Most of all, have fun with them as often as you can. They grow up WAY too fast!!!
___________________________________________________________________________

"Come to the edge," he said.
"We're afraid!" they replied.
"Come to the edge," he said.

He pushed them, and they flew...


mom2three
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 97
   Posted 3/19/2009 1:16 PM (GMT -7)   
Isn't that funny? I was the same way! That's why I loved playdates for my daughter - just me & the "girls". And since most of the moms had older siblings, they were usually more than happy to dump #2 or #3 my way. Trust me - you are just as experienced. My other 2 are baby boys and I definitely don't feel more knowledgable - they are all a new ball of wax, so I have to face trial & error each time. Doesn't matter if you 1 or 10 kids!

We are in Memphis, so not super cold, but definitely winter lately, so I have had to sub with the library and playdates at home to escape the chill...but our spring is breaking through...I hope the same is true for you soon! I'm sooo ready to throw them in the backyard. I can't tell you how many "forts" we have built inside - my poor blankets need a break.

babblin5 brought up a great point too - the other parents are probably just as concerned and anxious as we are (although they always looked way more together to me!)
Panic Attacks (since age 10) & General Anxiety with a little OCD thrown in there
Biggest Challenge - Panic; Biggest Joy - my 3 cute kiddos (ages 1, 2 & 5)
 


melbe
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 3/19/2009 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   

Hey guys, I'm so glad you posted this Treester!  I have a 4 year old son (almost 5) and I constantly worry about him and if he will be anxious like me.  So far he seems ok other than being a little shy and clingy.  It's funny cause I usually avoid the crowded parks with lots of parents and go for the empty parks if i can find one.  :-)    I recently enrolled him in karate class in hopes that he will build up his confidence and self esteem and hey maybe i'll build up mine by talking to some of the parents.  I'm a single parent so he has to leave me to go to his dads every other weekend and this makes me anxious even more cause I miss him so much.  I think maybe I have more seperation anxiety than he does.  LOL  Anyways, I'm relieved i'm not the only one, I was starting to think I was.  :-)

Mel


Junebug05
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 717
   Posted 3/19/2009 7:49 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi,
 
Thought I'd give you some perspective from a mom with a grown child.  I've had panic/anxiety since my daughter was born, so it's really all she's ever known.  I did the very best I could to allow her a normal childhood, and went to as many activities for her as I could.  She's 19 now, and has grown up to be an amazing young woman.  She doesn't have anxiety, though can be shy at times, but otherwise, she's a typical, well adjusted person.  She works, goes to school, has a boyfriend...all the normal stuff.  The only ways I believe she was affected are all very positive.  She's extremely compassionate and understanding of others problems and is a great listener.  
 
I guess I wouldn't worry over your little one too much unless he starts to show signs that are obvious that he's struggling.  Hope this helps a bit.
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