Wednesday, January 23, 2013

My Kid is a Worry-Wart...

I worry that my kid worries.

And I just got done blabbering on yesterday about a lesson on how not to worry for the sweet group, Lovely Girls Club.

The best part of the lesson? The pointing to God's Word:
Genesis 50:20: Dr. Young (our church's pastor) calls this the "50:20 Rule"
You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
Phillippians 4:6:
 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God 

Parents, please listen to what your little girls are worried about:
I was shocked at the responses of the girls when I asked them what they were worried about (Mind you Kindergarteners through 5th graders):
-"Not having my homework in my folder and getting a mark"- my kid we are going to get to that in a moment...
-"Benchmark testing" --the 4 hr long tests that determine your public school career apparently? Don't know much about this trial yet... But this was a major worry of the girls.
-"That my mom and dad will get a divorce or separate."
-"That my friend won't like me anymore."
-Something about a brother scaring one of them like he was a robber??  
Most of the stuff they said was centered around school and relationships with family. I'm not trying to break the confidence of these sweet ones, I'm trying to share an insight into the minds of our little girls in hopes that we see what they are already apt to be entangled with. 
Full disclosure: I only have a 6 yr old and I only have one and so far our schooling experience has been very wonderful. To translate that into military-mom terms, my rank is probably a Private.
  Not besmirching any rank in the military as ALL RANKS ARE AWESOME. DGMS on the military and my heart for our troops!!!

So when I tell you what we are trying with our daughter, you can scoff at it and think, "Easy for her to say with her one-kidedness!" Or just stop reading altogether and grab a snack. There's no shame in that.

But even with the awesome-blossom school loving we have going on around here (We ADORE Creech Elem!), Leelah has her freakout sesshes at least 2-3 times a week about her dang homework folder and other various things.

She actually gets up out of bed and checks her folder to make sure she hasn't forgotten anything. She also has major freakouts/anxiety at school when she forgets little things like her lunchbox. Anyone feel me on this?

Like sweet teachers and front office staff (Have I said I love Creech Elem, yet?) will actually stop what they are doing and call or email me with something like this:
"Leelah was very upset today because she left her lunchbox in the cafeteria and came in my room several times crying about it. We found it and I gave her lots of love."- Or something similar to this.

I told you Creech was filled with saints!

Here is what we have found to help our child with her little anxiety bouts:
1. First off, we are not ghoulish, horrible female Disney villains that shame Leelah or yell at her for mistakes. So this whole anxiety thing is self-driven. We try our best not to ever shame her.

2. We remain calm even when she is not. That's parenting book 101 right there.

3. We realize that whatever she is freaking out about might not be a big deal to us, but totally is to her. Again, no real amazing discovery for you there.

4. We have initiated Daddy & Daughter talks every night.
Every night at bedtime, we pray together and then I go do my things and John and her have like 5-20 minutes of conversation time in her room. Leelah will not let us forget to have this time. We started this for several reasons:
-Dads or father figures are essential, critical, huge in a little girl's life. 
They are the example of Jesus. Single moms, take heart - you get to show Jesus in a mom and dad way with God's strength!!! You rock my world - do not grow weary or lose heart!
-John lets her run wild with the convo and listens. 
And you know how kids are: "What if a dinosaur ate only ice cream and lived with unicorns and I was the queen of that land called Reclenth! I'm scared of losing my coat at school and no one talks to me at recess..." She totally lets her guard down mid convo and shares her heart with a daddy that will listen. And it teaches her that daddy will always listen- just like Jesus does.
-We want her to have a husband like this someday.
That will listen and think her world is important. So if she sees John doing this, she will seek out someone who does the same to be her hubby. We don't tell her this, we just pray this will happen. It's totally a subconscious mind melding Vulcan technique.

5. The Dream Bucket. 
Got a kid that doesn't go to bed easy? A sweet, precious mom in my Moms in Touch prayer group gave me the best idea- the Dream Bucket.
You take a bucket, baggy, sack, treasure box, etc. and have either your daughter or you type up or write or draw things they absolutely love. One thing per slip of paper. You put them in the storage device and then have her pull out a slip right before she goes to bed and tell her to dream about that. It gets her focus on that instead of ___________.
Leelah LOVES this. And it has really helped put her in that frame of relaxation. Thank you my dear friend for this idea!!!

These measures have really helped our little one who has a bent towards worrying and controlling things. Got any tricks? Please comment and let me know- would love to hear!


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