1/20/15

Lost in the Details of an Anxious Mind

It was evening and the boys were put to bed.  My husband read to them, and I rubbed backs and tucked them in.  We were catching a piece of Trump's Apprentice, when the younger complained from the top of the stairs, "Joey shot a rubberband at me when I was sleeping!!"  I made my way up, feeling frustrated, but knowing this is my boy, his anxiety is ramping up and we are all feeling it, at home and at school. He has been getting lost in details, overly critical, details preventing him from seeing the big picture when he makes a poor choice, details getting in the way of taking responsibility. . . He has made so much progress curbing his comments and taking ownership for his mistakes, it seems out of character now for these things to pop out again.

He is a preteen, and will be changing schools next year, we don't know which one for sure, but a huge change in any case, and his anxiety comes out in his ability to get along with. . . everyone.  Plus, he is a preteen, ugh, need I say more?  He has been disrespectful, which led to the meeting this week.  I pictured him at the meeting hands shaking, he tried to hide it with slumped poster and attitude eyes, but words simply weren't there for him.  I know this because I have experienced it.  I know people don't understand how a bright, otherwise very verbal person, could suddenly not have words, but it happens to me still, so I know.

So, I tucked the youngest back in with hugs and kisses, and sat down on the bed of the oldest.  I told him "I know it has been hard, the meeting, the talks. . .but everything will be ok.  We love you, me and Dad both, and we are here to help you." I rubbed his back with pressured strokes, to try and settle him down and told him,  "We will help you over the bumps"  and then jokingly, "but could you try to steer around a few of them?"  He said, "Feels more like mountains, can't really go around mountains." I told him, "I want you to close your eyes and picture the mountains shrinking."  and true to form, he said, "What kind of mountains are they?  Oceanic subduction? continental subduction? or fault line?"  I gave him a hug and said, "You pick." and "promise to picture the mountains shrinking."

9 comments:

arjeha said...

Love your calm approach to the situation. Never had children, but working with 6th grade students for 40 years I know that things get rough for them. Hope you have a smooth transition.

Tara Smith said...

These years are tough, for sure, but yo have a loving and patient approach - that will go a long way.

Dana Murphy said...

This is a touching Slice. He'll find his way pass those mountains, for sure. Lucky to have you there, holding his hand.

Nancy Cavillones said...

What a great response. We all have trying moments as parent (I'm also a mother of 3!) and I often feel like I don't know how to respond to these situations, so thanks for the model!

Stacey said...

Your response was perfect, Amy. Full of honesty and warmth.

Preteen years! I'm a ways away from those and for that I'm thankful. Those are rough ones!

LInda Baie said...

So hard when the children are worrying, & sometimes they don't share all they're feeling. I'm glad you got him to talk a little, & love your analogy with your son about the mountains. Bet it will help.

LInda Baie said...

So hard when the children are worrying, & sometimes they don't share all they're feeling. I'm glad you got him to talk a little, & love your analogy with your son about the mountains. Bet it will help.

Maureen said...

I agree with all the others - your approach/response was lovely. Just the right thing to say. I really like your line "We love you, me and Dad both, and we are here to help you." A beautiful thing for him to keep in mind! He is not alone. I love his words, too - anxiety is mountains!

Rdgtchr said...

You have such a loving and generous way with your words and thoughts... I can sense your worry and calm all in the same sentence. Hats off to you for being honest, calm, sensitive and wise. And for writing about it all.