Monday, September 13, 2010

Anxiety in Children

My poor daughter is having a hard time at school. She's convinced herself that she doesn't like it there, and begs me all day and night to stay home with me for always. Thursday and Friday were especially bad. The teachers said she cried the entire day and wasn't able to eat her lunch. She was still upset all Friday evening and Saturday, and some of Sunday. Sunday night she started crying as soon as we started our bedtime routine, and as soon as she woke up this morning, she was in tears. I stayed with her at school for an extra twenty minutes, and helped her calm down and play with some of the toys. My hope is that if I can spend some time with her calmly each morning at the school, she will become more comfortable in her surroundings.

I have to admit that this is not the first sign of this. Last year at school she would cry when I dropped her off, but she was fine after five minutes or so. The difference was that she only went twice a week, and only for three hours. The rest of her time was spent with me. During the summer she played soccer, and she would cry for the first twenty minutes of the class, wanting me to hold her hand and play with her. And she was going to a good friends house during the summer, while I worked, and she had a hard time at drop off time with that.

Anxiety and depression run in my family. My husband always gets upset with me for watching for it in Hailey. I knew though that it would manifest in some way, although I always hoped she would be exempt from it. I've been looking up tricks online for helping her cope, but each site has information that contradicts the site before. It is so confusing. I just want to know what to say and do to make this easier on her. I know what it's like to have the anxiety wash over you, and even as an adult, I have a hard time making sense of the feelings of irrational fear. I can't imagine being 4 years old, wanting your mommy, being sick with fear in your surroundings, and having to stay that way for 8 or 9 hours of the day. It breaks my heart to sit here and know that she is sad and scared.

I've made an appointment with the doctor for next week. I hope that I can get some literature or a pediatrician appointment. I just need some direction in how to help her.

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