You stare as your daughter lines up her toys, first by color and then by size. You’ve long ago ignored the well-intentioned friends and family who told you her behaviors were “typical.” There was nothing typical about it. You spend most of your morning sitting where she wants you to sit, following her very specific demands. Demands that if not followed to the letter, will result in a catastrophic meltdown that can go on for hours. You are pretty sure your child is showing early signs of OCD. That is not rocket science to you. But what you really want to know is how to deal with OCD – especially in a child this young.
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?
Your child clings to you for dear life when anyone even glances her way. Trying something new is a major event. Your shadow is 3 ft tall and calls you mama. People tell you she’ll grow out of it. Your relatives whisper in silent judgment. But your gut instinct is telling you this isn’t your fault. Your gut instinct is telling you this isn’t right. Should you turn a blind eye and hope for the best or should you face this problem head on? What can be done for anxiety in young children? Can young kids even get anxious?
Yes, they can. Anxiety doesn’t have to be about life events. Sometimes it is about genetics. Anxiety is thought to have a strong genetic basis and can be passed along, just like blue eyes and blonde hair.
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?
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.
Many children with anxiety have issues that lead to a toilet phobia. This is not just a toddler issue! Learn the common issues and how to help!
“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.
One of the biggest parenting issues I see in my therapy practice is sleep problems. Children are often afraid at bedtime. Learn what works and what doesn’t!
A screaming toddler is not fun, but it is a normal part of development. Here are some child therapist tips on how to deal with toddler tantrums.
In this episode of PSP we go beyond stranger danger to talk about six wacky tips that can save your kid’s life.
Some kids are anxious right out of the womb. Anxious toddlers can be difficult to parent because they don’t have the language yet to express how they feel. They are more sensitive. They are pickier. They are more overwhelmed. And all of those emotions are wrapped up in a 3-foot tall little person with newly developed language and no self-regulation. Yikes! That is a recipe for disaster.
As parents, we have a zillion responsibilities. We have to work, cook, clean, pay bills, chauffeur, volunteer, help with homework – and that is just the tip of the iceberg! Add a child into the mix and we are lucky to get anything done. So how are we supposed to be a good parent who get things done, while giving our children the attention they need?
Toddlers are my favorite little people. I can say that because my last child has finally moved out of that stage and I am now [sniffle, sniffle] toddler-less. A funny thing happens when you are no longer in the throes of toddlerhood – you see toddlers in a whole new light.
When you are knee deep in toddlerhood, you often miss the cute innocence of toddlers. You might miss the hysterical way they try to exert their independence. You probably see no humor when they fall to the ground and forget how to walk or how they have no filter when they talk to strangers.