The Healthy Family Connections Podcast:
My Highly Anxious Daughter
Episode 012 · Duration: 00:11:05
Kids come into this world with different temperaments, and some temperaments can be challenging to deal with. As our kids grow we want them to learn to understand who they are temperamentally and manage the inherent strengths and challenges their particular temperament presents, but it’s not always easy.
In episode 12 of Healthy Family Connections, Neil takes a question from a mom caught in the dilemma of raising a highly anxious daughter in a big family:
I am a huge fan of your book and podcast. You always remind me to “keep the positive vision of my teen”. When I do, it can often be like flipping a switch, and I feel peace. Anyway I have four teens and I’m writing about my youngest, age 12. Unlike her older siblings, who have no problem voicing their feelings when we have conflict, she completely shuts down and refuses to communicate. Over the years her older sibs have often dismissed her or have been outright mean to her, which usually has ended up with her crying and going to her room. When I try to talk to her after these moments she will shut me down before I can even get the first sentence out.
She is highly anxious when her routine is interrupted or an expectation goes awry. For example if she oversleeps in the morning or if the printer doesn’t work she has a meltdown, and won’t be calmed even when there is an easy solution. She seems almost angry at attempts to support her. I’ve tried to help her see the benefit of pausing and breathing in these situations, but again that is met with anger and resentment. Lately I’ve walked away from her when she gets this way as it’s exhausting. But that doesn’t feel right. In general, she is increasingly very combative with me. A harmless question will elicit anger and frustration with me. I’d like your advice on what I might do. Should I just step away? Not engage at all? Help! – Jennifer, San Francisco
Listen to this week’s episode to hear Neil discuss:
- Isolating and recognizing a negative pattern
- Setting behavioral expectations for both the child affected, as well as the siblings and parents
- Ways to help an anxious kid recognize and take control of their emotional reactions
Be sure and checkout this week’s episode to hear Neil help one mom get her anxious kid back on the right track.
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