Are you causing your child’s anxiety?
In this episode, I’m sharing how my actions fueled my daughter’s anxiety.
I share how she and I worked together to create a plan for me to manage my anxiety and her to handle hers.
If you find your anxiety spilling over to your child don’t beat yourself up and don’t give up.
I’m sharing in this video real-time advice to help you work with your child no matter their level in a way that supports you and them.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN FROM THIS EPISODE:
- How to manage your anxiety so it doesn’t spill over to your kids
- How to help you kids manage their own anxiety
- How to create a quick plan for communication
WATCH THE FULL EPISODE HERE:
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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:
So before I tell the story, I checked in with my daughter to make sure this was okay, cause this is partly her story as well. And I wanted to honor her and all of this. So here’s what happened after we went to vote earlier this morning, we stopped by Starbucks and picked up some lunch because you know, voting is all about eating and having special sparkly drinks. And so my husband and I said, we wanted one thing and the kids wanted something different. My youngest son asked my daughter, “Hey, let’s get a pizza together.”
Cause I told the kids, they had to pay for their own food. Those little buggers make money. I don’t have to pay for all their extras. And so my son, the Crowned Prince asked my daughter, he goes, “Hey, you want a pizza? Let’s get a pizza”. So she said, yes, pizza. So we’re driving to go get the pizza. And she goes, I want mushrooms. And I said, well, sweetie, you guys, we’re just going to get a hot and ready. You weren’t ordering a full pizza. That’s what cut the price in half was that you were getting a pizza, and the only ingredient y’all can agree on is pepperoni.
Anyhow. So I could hear the doubt in her voice and I’m going to be honest because I deal with my own anxiety, sometimes my kids voicing their stuff, sets off my triggers. If you join the No More Trauma summit with Auguste Crenshaw in December, I talk about where some of that comes from. But it sometimes sets off my own sets of triggers because I knew she was doubting.
I have this innate fear that if she can’t always be clear that someone is going to take advantage of her. So I tend to be harder on her when I actually need to be easier on her because her diagnoses make it to where me being harder on her only exasperates any of the ticks or issues that she has. It doesn’t take them away. It makes them actually worse. Anywho, she goes, “well, can I get mushrooms?”
I go, “well, sweetie, you know, you guys, we’re going to little Caesars.” We’re going to get a hot and ready and we would have had to order a pizza and so we’re just going to pick one up on the way. Like, I could hear her thinking and kind of like mumbling some things in the background. I said, “hold on, do you even want pizza?” And so she pauses and she goes, “no, I really don’t want pizza, I want a sandwich.”
Now in this moment is where I did not show up as a fully loving and supportive mother. I was instantly annoyed. I was annoyed because now we got to stop at one more place. And if you would’ve said you wanted a sandwich beforehand, we could have made different moves, but I’m not beating me up. And I’m not beating her up.
This is a total learning lesson. So any who, I don’t want to drag the story out. Okay. So fast forward we get to the pizza place and the sandwich place are like two doors down from each other. So it wasn’t like a big thing, but I’m still stuck in annoyed because I had to step outside of what my plan was in my head to accommodate in my head. It was to accommodate her. So we get into the sandwich place.
First of all, there was like a limit to how many people could go into the store, but they didn’t have the limit on the door. And so we would go in and they would go, “no, you have to go out.” Tthen, so we went in again and finally after like our second or third time, like going in after people were let out, she goes, “no, our limit for the store is five people.”
And I’m like would have been nice to know it was five people. The first time I came in. But so I’m already irritated and on edge and she’s kind of on edge because she feels some sort of way about changing her mind. Fast forward we get into there. I am still not being my best self. I am still not being patient and slowing down. And it’s like a train, train wreck.
I can see myself making poor parenting choices, like in slow motion. But at this point I can’t stop. So we get home. And like, you know, that moment after you do something really f’d up as a parent and you try to figure out how you can resolve this. So your child is not seemingly scarred for life. And so I began to think of ways that she and I can have these conversations in different ways that I can show up in different ways so she can use her voice.
And so that’s what I did is I called her up and I said, well, let’s talk about what happened today. Let’s have a discussion. Now your child may or may not be at that point, but this is still a good thing because you can still reach out to that child to see like exactly what’s going on and how things worked out for them. So I said, well, what, what happened today? I said, how did this leave you feeling? And she was like, well, “this left me feeling confused.”
“Like I felt confused about what to do and you weren’t patient, and so I was trying to catch up with, with what you were saying, and it was really hard because we have these mask on and I couldn’t hear you.” And part of me felt like really proud that she was using her voice and letting me know that, I was not showing up as my best self and yeah, or the other part of me felt like crap because like, I kind of know these things, but yet I wasn’t being patient compassionate or graceful in this situation.
And so she and I had a conversation for about five or 10 minutes about the events, how she perceived them. I did not stop her. I did not change her narrative. I let her say what she wanted to say and the safe space. Like normally there’s a space in my room. That’s a safe space where the kids can say anything and we are not allowed to react.
We are only allowed to support them where they need to be supported at and shut up. That’s pretty much it. And so she was in that space where she was allowed to tell me how this made her feel, how my reaction to things made her feel. And so I asked her for feedback. I said, well, what do you think mommy can do better in the future to not show up that way? Cause that really sucks. She said, yeah, it did.
And she gave me feedback, be more patient, breathe, mommy. Um, it was another one she gave me, but those were the be patient and breathe. And so then I asked her, I said, well, what do you think that you could have done to lessen the impact of this experience? And you know, she said, I could have relaxed, I could have asked questions. It was something else that she said, but I hadher do both that experience totally flipped the script of the earlier experience.
And then I had her do some EFT tapping around that experience and how it made her feel. Um, so that it wouldn’t stick so that it wouldn’t be kind of wish we had EFT tapping when I was a younger parent or knew I knew about it anyways, so that it wouldn’t stick. And so that she could try move on from this situation, without it being like a total notch in the trauma belt.
But most definitely, I fueled her anxiety and sometimes as parents of children with special needs, we know that our kids take longer to do stuff, or we know that sometimes they might need a little bit more support and we have our own.
And sometimes we drag it into them, exasperating the situation and making it worse than what it could actually be. If we just took a beat and calm down, this is not from a space of judgment or beating you down or braiding you because I just did the same thing. It’s something that we have to work through and do because we’re not always going to be the picture perfect parent. That’s always patient and loving and kind, and, and open and generous. But you, you have to be in a space to be willing to have these conversations with your kids, even when MJ was alive.
And he was not all the way verbal, but he had a space of understanding. Whenever I would have a parenting effort with him, I would have a conversation with him, even though he wasn’t going to give me the responses that would have necessarily seemed like they were coherent or whatever, but I would still have the conversation with him.
Like, Hey, mommy, didn’t show up as her best. Please forgive me. This one was not the best thing for me to do. I love you. This is, this is not how I want to show up with you because even though they may not be able to verbalize it, they totally understand, um, from an emotional and from a feeling standpoint, when you’re coming to them to, you know, either apologized or get their point of view. And even I would ask him, you know, as I would do things, you know, what do you think mommy can do better next time?
And I pretty much already knew the answer, even though he wasn’t completely verbal. I pretty much already knew the answer. You know, the answer on how you can show up better next time with your kid. They don’t necessarily need to respond, but you always want to give them that space. If they can.
You want to give them that space to respond to you and say, I want you to show up this way because it lets you know, how you can support them to be, I don’t want to say better humans, but more complete are more engaged, humans, whatever. So I hope this was helpful. This was just like a really quick blurb that I was thinking about as she and I are about to run out for a few moments and grab some things. But it shifts our relationship because like now, like when I had this conversation with her and I gave her that space, you could just tell the anxiety just went versus like her being afraid to be around me because that freaks them out when I’m freaking out.
Like it really does. So give yourself some grace mama have those conversations with your kids, right? Whether they are verbal or not, whether their level of understood standing is where you needed to be or not. Have the conversations open up the door, let down your guard, show your child that you are a human that makes mistakes.
And it takes and releases the shame off of it that we feel when we do, what I call f’d up parenting. When we do something that we know can possibly send our child to therapy later in life, we tend to ignore it and just hope it goes away. And we say, here you want some cake, or ohh let’s go get some ice cream to try to brush over the thing that happened when actually there needs to be a conversation to remove the guilt, the shame, and trauma.
Isn’t always something that’s like, you know, but still some form of childhood trauma to help remove some of those pieces to put your child’s self-esteem and self-confidence back intact and it strengthens your relationship. These are tools that I have learned over years and years of my own training and working with my therapist and, working in different modalities to help me to be able to be open enough and comfortable enough to going to my kids to, to do that.
So I hope this was helpful if it is, you know, shoot me thumbs up or whatever below, if it isn’t or you have any comments, questions, or ahas or whatever, pop them down in the comment section or share with a mom friend who has a child with special needs. And they’re not sure on how to communicate or how to make things, better with that relationship.
It’s not always easy. It’s already not easy as a parent to do this part, but when you have a child that might have some challenges, it tends to make the job a bit more interesting. Doesn’t it? So yeah, I will talk to you all later. Remember, love yourself, love your family and love your business. If you need any help in this area, I have a pop it down in the comments below, or shoot me an inbox. I’ll be glad to help support you in any way that I can either with me or the multitude of resources that I am privy to. So I love you all have a great day. Hang out with me kids again, and I’ll talk to you later. Bye.