Childhood anxieties are extremely prevalent nowadays and yet still so poorly understood. The modern medical and psychiatric system wants to treat children, along with all adults in fact, as discrete entities, completely separate not only from the rest of the members of the family but from the food they eat, the place they live and the larger social circle.
While good sense would tell us all of this plays a part, in the treatment protocols, you would think this fact is all non-sensical and illusory. If your child is anxious, or overactive, the prescription route is to offer medication, not to ask questions of the child’s familial and social experiences.
Are you in danger of being trapped in the system?
And generally, while all this is failing, you and your child are likely to be sucked further and further into a system that really just has no wholesome, implementable answers for you. Even school counsellors, apparently on hand to offer psychological support for children, are often drafted in without a proper understanding of how children respond in counselling sessions and why you cannot adopt the same approach with children as you do with adults.
What you can do for your child
Children get anxious for all kinds of reasons, and alot of it sadly, has to do with how anxious you are as parents. It is natural for children to worry about things in their friendships circles or with their school work. What they seek from their parents is reassurance.
As you seek to reassure, if you are genuinely without worries of your own, your child will experience that as grounded and wholesome advice. They will very quickly dispell their fears and anxieties because they have been witnessed, seen and can feel the safety of your strength.
Are you reassuring yourself as well as your child?
However, if in reassuring your child you are reassuring yourself, then your child – who, remember, is without the years and years of practice that most adults have in hiding their true feelings and emotions from others – will simply feel the at odds-ness of your words and actions. They will not understand your anxiety. They will feel guilty and responsible for your anxiety. And then they will get anxious.
It really can be a terrible viscious circle and one that, if practised too long, can be very difficult to break. However, as the parent, you are able to break the cycle and address your own anxieties so that your child does not have to experience them second hand as well as their own.
Families produce children
I often work with families AND children up to around the age of 13 to 16 because to treat a child in isolation makes no sense to me. Children belong to families. Families have rules, an ethos, a history, a story, a whole culture embedded in their members.
I’m always inspired by families who really want to work together for the good of every one of its members and parents have such an amazing opportunity to grow and evolve as their children develop too. I never do guilt. I never seek to blame or harm a parent’s sense of effectiveness. On the contrary, I want only to enhance what is already going right and encourage more of it. As for the children, well, they come right very quickly once the whole familial system is working effectively.
If I can help you with your family’s challenges I’d be very happy to help. Give me a call on 07773 919071 and let’s have a chat.