Your son peeks his head out the window. His face pales. “Mom, is it supposed to rain today?” You look out the window. You see only one lonely cloud in the sky. “I don’t think so.” You respond. But you realize too late that your answer only fueled his concern. “You’re not sure?” He whines. You take a deep breath and prepare for the unraveling to begin. He does not disappoint. You know lots of kids are afraid of storms, but your child takes his fear to another level.
It seems like just yesterday you were wiping her bottom and picking up Cheerios off the floor. And now you are scrolling down the grocery aisle going through the list of school supplies, trying to find an 8 pack of washable markers. When did this happen? When you look at your daughter she still looks so young. Is she ready for the stream of kids and chaos school will bring? Is there anything you should be doing to prepare her for the first day of kindergarten?
It’s bedtime and instead of winding down, your house is winding up. “I’m scared,” you hear. “I’m too scared to sleep!” You hear over and over again. Your child pleads. Can they sleep with you? Can you sleep with them? Can they sleep on the couch next to you? You’ve tried everything. Threatening, negotiating, sympathizing…nothing works. Are you doomed to a life of sleepless nights or can this be fixed?
It’s bedtime. You are arming yourself for battle. You muster up all your energy. It’s going to be a long night. You are already running on fumes from the frequent interruptions in your sleep the night before. How long can you function like this? What on earth can make a child so afraid to sleep? Especially a child who has experienced nothing but security and stability?
Some kids beg their parents for a pet. Some kids love to dig for bugs. In your home, dogs and bugs are what keep your child up at night. Play dates are dictated by the size and existence of a friend’s pet. A relaxing day by the pool can be ruined by a traveling bee. Is this going to pass or will your child have a fear of animals and insects their whole life?
It’s dinner time. You prepare for battle. You put the spaghetti down and find yourself tensing up. It doesn’t take long. One slurp. One fork scraping teeth. The screaming begins. The doors get slammed. Dinner is over. This happens every night. But, it’s not just dinner. There are many other sounds that cause your child to rage out of control. Misophonia has been destroying the peace in your house. Misophonia triggers are everywhere.
Misophonia triggers aren’t about noises being perceived as too loud (hyperacusis), it is about pattern-based noises triggering the limbic system, causing suffers to instantly feel rage, disgust and anxiety when exposed to certain noises.
Your child is paralyzed. She stares at the bathroom door unable to go through. She grabs the door handle with her shirt, fumbling to get it open. You’ve watched her wash her hands until they are raw. It seems like most questions that come out of her mouth are about germs. What is going on with her? This new fear of germs is taking over her life. How can you help?
The hair on the back of her neck is standing up. Her stomach feels weird. She doesn’t like how he is staring at her. She has a weird gut feeling, but she doesn’t know what it is. “Go hug your Uncle Victor,” her mom says. She nervously shakes her head no. “Don’t be rude! Go hug him!” her mom demands.
“But mama I no want to go…” your child pleads with you, his bottom lip puffed out for effect.
“You have to go,” you firmly state.
“Noooo. I don’t wannnnt toooo!” Your child whines.
You know what will happen next. You’ve done this dance before. And frankly, you are tired of dancing. You want your child to stop whining. You want your child to talk like he isn’t still in diapers. You can’t stomach anymore baby talk and the whining is slowly crushing your soul. “Make it stop!” You scream silently in your head.
It is that time again. Didn’t we just do this twenty-four hours ago? Your heart starts to beat a bit faster as you prepare for the nightly battle that is about to ensue. Getting your kids to do homework is akin to getting your wisdom teeth pulled and frankly – you rather skip both. “I don’t want to do it!” your daughter screams. “That’s not how she taught us! You don’t get it.” complains your son. Since when did getting your kids to do homework become such a ridiculous chore? Don’t let homework battles destroy your family’s peace. Wave the white flag and take a break to watch this.
We all want our kids to be the best version of themselves. Sometimes we want this so badly, we inadvertently create the opposite. Sometimes we need to take a step back and assess our own behavior. Learn what you should do and what you shouldn’t do! Also, explore self esteem activities for kids that actually works!
Do your kids shutdown when they’re upset? Teaching feelings and emotional intelligence to kids isn’t always a nice thing to do, for some it is a necessity.