anxiety: mine or his?

i ordered some much needed parenting books from amazon and they arrived yesterday. i am looking for resources to help with my eldest son, bear. he’s always been on the more quiet, sensitive end of the spectrum. he gets overwhelmed by people and places quickly, especially if they are new. i think he actually feels anxious, a lot of the time. i don’t think he has an actual disorder, but i do recognize that he is very sensitive to changes around him. and he internalizes everything, taking things to heart and he struggles with the waves of emotion that hit him.

[ lego and patch time.]

whenever we are getting ready to go somewhere bear immediately slams on the brakes with the whole “i don’t want to go to ______”. we could be on our way to preschool, ballet, a friend’s house, the park, or a grandparen’ts house or the grocery store. the destination is irrelevant. this behaviour has been going on for a couple of years and i am now beginning to really put the pieces together; this is not just defiant behaviour, but i honestly think he is feeling anxious about leaving the safety and familiarity of our home. the outside world makes him feel nervous.

at the end of these visits or school times bear is usually happy, content and satisfied with participating. for example, when i pick him up from preschool or when he comes home from ballet, he is relaxed, and tells me he has had a wonderful time. this is where it gets tricky for us, as his parents, knowing when to force him to go and when to acknowledge his anxiety and let him stay home. currently, we make him attend unless he is sick. are we being too strict? 

[playing hot and cold with mummo. we’re all laughing, because bear is looking right at the hidden item, but totally not seeing it. he loves this game! ]

when do i let it go and when do i push, without being a pushover?
where is the line?

xo, mama lola
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  1. Tania says

    I was very similar to dear bear when I was a wee girl. I was afraid of the outside world and at my happiest playing with my toys in the safety of my own home. I assume my parents had the same struggles as you. My father pushed me much harder than my mother would and sometimes I think it made it harder for me to “get out there”. You sound like pretty awesome parents and one very sensitive and intuitive mama so I think that as long as he has you to talk to and fall back on when the “scary” world knocks him down he’ll be fine. Just, maybe don’t force him into going to overnight camp…my parents did and it still gives me shivers!!

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