Anyone else struggling to parent a child with anxiety?
ElfinsMum · 12/04/2022 10:27
DD1 has anxiety and panic attacks. She has good spells and bad spells. Currently in a bad spell because we have all had Covid so all of her normal school and exercise routine has gone out of the window.
When she gets stressed, she gets breathless, rigid, her heart and mind race, she gets jumpy, can't stand normal family noise, activities etc, hides in her room, sometimes hides under furniture. She also gets very angry, is violent towards her two younger siblings and even sometimes us, shouts and yells at everyone, slams doors, throws things...the works.
A lot of the time she saves this behaviour just for me and her younger brother. On bad days, like today, it feels like all I get. Sometimes DH suggests I cause it. But I think it is more that she feels safe enough to throw it all at me.
Whatever the cause, I find it triggering. I am being pushed beyond the limit of my patience here. It is reaching a point where as soon as she walks up to me with her shoulders up at her ears and says something in her special breathy stressed voice, I just want to get away. I flail between trying to empathise and telling her I can't deal.
Every other tween has anxiety now it seems. How is everyone else coping please? What is the best way to parent this?
whenwillthemadnessend · 12/04/2022 10:37
My dd has emetophobia so although her panic is generally directed to the phobia it's still caused panic attacks in the past. It's very hard to parent and effects the whole family.
How old is your dd?
My dd was 15 when she started therapy cbt and emdr (for the phobia). She is a whole lot better now but still has days where I can't get her to go to school but her attendance is improving.
I'll be honest. I went straight to the private sector as the nhs were useless. A 2 year wait and no guarantee of a therapist who is qualified in her phobia but as a friend said to me. It's the cost of a family holiday and can I afford not to do it. That was the decision made.
It's been money well spent. Do it while young or it might affect her whole life
It took a while for my husband to get on board as he used to shout but now he understands that reacting makes it worse.
You need to support but also be a little tough at times You will know when you can push a little harder or when it's fruitless. Try to find out if it's general anxiety or related to anything specific too.
ElfinsMum · 12/04/2022 12:21
I think it's generalised anxiety. It was diagnosed as a result of a hospital stay for functional pain, i.e. physical pain caused by anxiety.
SummerHouse · 12/04/2022 12:25
I would see if she would buy in to you taking a back seat. I e. Explain to her that you don't feel you help her when she is suffering and you want to try alternative responses. You step away and DH steps up. Obviously this is not always possible. This could go one of two ways. DH takes the brunt of it and develops a better understanding of what you are facing here. Or she doesn't react in the same way and you have some improvement. Either way you get a bit of respite. And either way it's no reflection on you / your parenting. You are clearly doing your best and it's bloody hard.
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