Coping with anxiety in 6yo ds(3 Posts)
Ds is 6. He's always been a bit of a worrier but it's getting in the way of normality now. And, as I suffered with anxiety after he was born, not only do I feel guilty that I've done this, it's making me anxious that he's so anxious.
We've just returned from his swimming lesson which he refused to do because I'd be out of his sight for about 60 seconds while I left the changing room to go to the spectator area.
On Wednesday he had a spring disco at school. DH is on the parent staff council and was helping out. Ds was supposed to go early with DH but we were running late with dinner so DH went up alone and it caused so much trauma.
DS made me promise (through lots of tears and refusals to even go) that I would stay (even though I have dd who couldn't go as she's not at school yet) until he could find daddy. So I sneaked in carrying her and as soon as he saw his dad and seemed a wee bit settled, dd and I left.
DH and ds came home earlier than expected and DH was cross because ds had refused to join in with his friends and had clung to DH so much he'd not actually been able to help at all.
These are 2 examples. There are lots more. It's escalated since a misunderstanding at after school club when he wasn't supposed to go but the teacher didn't know (I'd forgotten to put a note in his bag) so she sent him. When I went to collect him after school she said he was happy to go and I left him till the usual pick up time. He was upset that I'd forgotten him. This was obviously, definitely my fault.
He can't explain why he feels anxious other than I'm going to forget him, and I've run out of ideas of how to reassure him. I'm so very sad that he's so insecure about me and DH. He's the most precious thing in the world to me.
Have I ruined him when he was already fragile?
Does anyone have any experience of this? Any strategies I can use? Suggestions?
Mine is younger but we have been through similar with separation stuff. I really relate to feeling guilty and anxious because they have gone backwards and you are pinpointing something you did. On the positive though your DS is still okay with school itself? That is pretty good. Hopefully if you keep calm and don't push it he will get back to where he was? That has worked for us anyway. Separation anxiety is still very normal at 6 so try not to worry about it.
onitlikeacarbonnet, you haven't 'ruined' him. So sad you sometimes feel this way. It sounds as if perhaps you confuse your own anxieties with his, but you're too separate people and the more guilty you feel, that 'you've done this to him', the worse he may feel as you're then not able to help him with whatever it is makes him anxious.
He's only 6, there is so much you can do to help him. It's not at all unusual for little 6 year olds to be anxious & have separation anxiety and they can certainly be helped not so much through reassurance (when you're actually feeling anxious yourself) but more through trying to understand at different times what makes him anxious and how he can helped to feel less anxious. If that means accepting at certain points that he will be clingy, so be it. I think it probably doesn't help him if he feels his anxiety / clinginess causes inconvenience / anger in you (although of course those feelings are understandable).
Can I ask--on the occasion you mentioned--when you and DD left (when DH came to the event) did you let DS know you were leaving?
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