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Childhood Anxiety, and great teachers.

Posted May 08 2009 11:39pm

I have just arrived home from a great day at school. Aside from being bollocked in our first class for talking, my friend and I went off to a seminar extra curricular to Uni. My teacher had invited me along as it co incided with an assignment I had just handed in. So I begged my friend to come and she was really invigorated and happy she decided to come along.
The topic was on childhood anxiety. Much of the seminar I had covered in my assignment, yet I learned some extra, really interesting stuff, and bumped into my daughters ex teacher which was really nice. My daughter had really loved her teacher, and the teacher spoke of Hebah fondly, which always puts a warm fuzzy into a Mums heart. On the topic of great teachers my friend Fi, was my teacher years back, she was an awesome educator, still is, and an amazing friend, her pupils love her, and they have good reason too.
My Uni, teacher who invited me to the seminar is an amazing person, I would describe her as dynamic, energetic, and enthuses the whole class with her love of the subject. I secretly wish I had her energy, and stamina. It is one of my favourite classes.
Below I have summarised the effects of anxiety on children:

Most people, if not all people have a form of anxiety its how it develops which makes it a Mental Illness though. Children may experience tummy aches, headaches, nausea, heartracing, weakness,and develop avoidance behaviours.
What I learned today was how to deal with it in children. I have a similar approach to what was presented today with my own children. I always have, if my child fell over when young I tried to make a joke of it (unless it was really bad) and reassure the child.
When a parent is anxious the child picks it up, it quickly can progress into a rapid cycle of anxiety which is harmful to both parent and child.
Anxiety is genetic and learned.
With my kids, I try to not make things a big deal with them. I am honest and don't sugarcoat anything, they will always pick up on if you have lied to them.
I apply the rule of face the fear and do it anyway. Throw in some empathy and hopefully your child will get over the issue, as long as you as a parent does too. Issues are always going to be with us until the day we die, kids need to be taught resiliency and how to cope from a young age.
I'm not infallible and sometimes the mask of calm and reason slips, I am only human.
I do try to turn things into a joke to ease up any tension especially with my daughter who is a sensitive, empathetic soul. They spoke of this technique today, so I'm glad I don't look like a narcissistic parent who laughs at there kids misfortune. My daughter now turns many scary situations into a joke.
When I dragged myself around the hospital corridors I would try to show her I'm o.k. Yet she is entitled to see I am human and do suffer sometimes, that way she will always know its o.k to feel, cry, laugh, or grieve without judgment.
We can help a child recover from irrational fears by using positive and negative reinforcements(rewards or punishments), each child has individual needs and this must be taken into account.
The worst thing we can do is feed into the child's fear, or allow them to develop avoidance techniques, this reinforces its o.k to be afraid of irrational fears that don't hurt us. Damn its hard being a parent at times. Just remember we all are human and have an issue to deal with.
I deal with any anxiety by keeping busy, or watching marathon movie's, or on here researching, to chill me out.

I splurge out on here my fears of the hospital etc. In this case is not irrational, as nearly every time they do something to me it goes wrong. That is the difference between rational and irrational fear, one day I look forward to this changing and being a more positive outcome:)

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