Fotolia

10 Things Parents Of Really Anxious Kids Are Tired Of Hearing

By
Share
Ad failed to load

When you're a parent, everyone is a critic and has advice, whether you ask for it or want to hear it. When your child has different needs and abilities, the advice never stops. From diets and drugs to insults and observations, there are so many things parents of really anxious kids are tired of hearing.

Two of my kids have anxiety. I think all kids do to a certain extent, but when anxiety starts to interfere with their sleep, schoolwork, and social lives, it's time to get some professional help. Fortunately, researchers and health care providers are examining why and how some kids experience anxiety, including; trauma, mental illness, attention deficit disorders, and more. As they discover answers, they have also learned evidence-based ways to help anxious children cope, function, and thrive in a world that doesn't always take kids' fears and worries seriously.

My kids aren't broken, they're just different. It's not my fault (or their fault) that they have anxiety, and they can't just "snap out of it." Please stop telling me what I should do or what I am doing wrong. Instead, trust me when I say, "I've got this," and stop saying the following. Parents of really anxious kids are tired of hearing it.

Ad failed to load

"What's Wrong With Them?"

There's nothing wrong with her. She has an anxiety disorder. Sometimes things are hard for her that are easier for others. Sometimes she does unexpected things, and sometimes she gets anxious or scared.

That's not "wrong." It's different.

"Can You Fix Them?"

giphy

She's. Not. Broken. There's nothing wrong with my kid. Having anxiety (or any mental illness or behavioral condition) doesn't make her broken. It's who she is. I certainly try to help her cope, calm down, and function through situations that likely feel impossible to her, but I don't expect her to be your version of normal in an attempt to make you feel better.

"There's Nothing To Be Afraid Of"

Keep telling yourself that. There's tons of things we should be afraid of. An anxious child needs someone to comfort and cheer him or her on through the hard stuff, help them stay or get calm, and hold their hand along the way. They certainly doesn't need someone to invalidate or mock their real fears, no matter how irrational they seem to someone else.

Ad failed to load

"Have You Tried...?"

giphy

I don't want to hear about gluten free diets, eliminating red dye, medications, or relaxation techniques. Unless I ask, I don't want to hear your thoughts. I rely on her doctor and therapist for treatments, based in science and customized to her. Leave this up to her parents and professionals.

"There's No Way I Would Let My Kid Do That"

Ha. I wish it were that easy. I don't care if you didn't parent your kids that way, or "this wouldn't fly when you were a kid." What do you want me to do? Punish my daughter when she gets anxious or scared? Condition her to put on a smile and do things that are traumatizing? That's abusive. No way.

Besides, we know so much more now about anxiety than we did 20 years ago. I am going to opt for the latest information and strategies, not outdated ideas. Thank you very much.

"It's Your Fault"

giphy

My daughter's anxiety doesn't come from the way I parent her. Now, it may stem from my previous marriage or childhood experiences, but it's certainly not because I don't spank her or because I have an anxiety disorder myself. It's no one's fault, and she deserves parents who love her with her anxiety, and not in spite of it.

Ad failed to load

"It's Just Nerves"

What does that even mean? Why are you diminishing her feelings?

I refuse to diminish my daughter's anxiety. I will occasionally ask her to step outside of her comfort zone, but I know her feelings are real. That's OK.

"Your Kid Shouldn't Be Anxious About That"

giphy

How do you know? Everyone's fears are different. Sometimes they seem rational and other times they may seem completely irrational. That's how fear works.

How would you feel if I suggested that you simply not be afraid of your worst nightmare? For you it might be clowns, spiders or the alt-right. For her, it's timed math exercises, being alone and spelling tests. They all are valid and real.

"Your Kid Could Do It If They Just Tried Harder"

As someone with an anxiety disorder and who has had many panic attacks about seemingly benign things, please just don't with your perception of the level of effort my child is making to fit in and overcome her anxiety. You literally have no idea. She's not lazy. She's anxious. There's a difference. Your comments and judgments are not helpful at all.

Ad failed to load

"You Should Force Your Kid To Face Their Fears"

giphy

Do you want to know where you can shove this idea? Probably not. I will not force my anxious daughter to do something potentially traumatizing to prove a point. Her anxiety is real. It may seem misdirected or silly, but her feelings and fears are real. Her panic attacks and tears are real, too.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack