School Playgrounds Can be Scary Places
Does your child have anxiety? The playground at school can be a daunting place for young children. For some who have experienced even minor incidents of bullying, there is a significant fear present around larger children. Imagine for a moment that you are 5 or 6 years old. You enter the school playground and look up at all the older children running fast and confidently enjoying themselves. It seems like a foreign world and at first can be overly intimidating, especially for those who are naturally more timid.
Is Your Child with Anxiety the Eldest?
The eldest child in a family is often a 'pioneer'. They do everything first and you as parents share that experience with them in your parenting decisions. When they go to school however, they have to do it alone. If they do not have older siblings, their experience of older children may be small. Not only is a small child being asked to cope with a whole new social structure and set of routines and rules at school; but they are also being asked to adapt to the unspoken rules of the playground. This is important for the psycho-social development of all children, but can also be very challenging to some.
What are the Playground Rules?
- Who is in charge?
- What is it ok to say and do?
- If I visit the bathroom will I miss out?
- What happens if I'm a slow runner/poor catcher?
- Will other kids make fun of me?
"Suddenly peer pressure is intensely present for the very first time"
Most children can rise to the occasion and gradually find their feet. Occasionally a child can find the challenge overwhelming and anxiety arises. When I see little kids in my clinic, I sometimes find that this anxiety can attach to a specific person or incident and appear out of proportion to the event/person described. This is not unusual. Ensure as parents that you are listening without judgment, and listening without dismissing the fear and trying to shrug it off. Using loving , open discussion about what your child is frightened of will help. Letting the teacher know that the anxiety exists will also help to create a warm supportive environment for your child. If these steps are not making a difference, then seeing a counsellor such as myself, can be an excellent idea. It's likely that your anxious child may have a tendency to be sensitive to situations that others are not, and so forming a bond with an experienced counsellor early on in their life, means you have an expert to return to should anything else arise as your child grows.
I Treat Anxiety in Children Differently From Most Counsellors
I use a powerful combination of Holistic Counselling and Homeopathy. I determine the best homeopathic medicine to support your child, as well as using fun techniques to empower your child and build their confidence. I saw a gorgeous little boy this week who when asked where the feelings of anxiety were in his body, pointed to his chest and said "In my Heart". His anxiety was not in his tummy as is often felt by kids and adults alike, or in his legs......it was very clearly in his heart and he knew it.
Never under estimate the ability of your young child to articulate what they feel and what they think and what they need. They are perfect sources of information about their worlds and listening to them impartially is a very powerful process.
So how did I help him?
This young boy knew he was good at running and it was important for him to feel a sense of his own ability and prowess. So we spent a few minutes running races up the corridor at my clinic and talking about his speed. I also wanted him to have a physical experience of his own power as he had been having daily experiences of his own perceived powerlessness in the school playground in the face of larger children. To do this I had him push against my hands (experiencing his own strength) and see that he could push me across the room. You should have seen his back sit straighter and his little face light up! I also prescribed an effective homeopathic medicine for him to take before school when he feels most anxious to alleviate the anxiety.
Treating anxiety in little kids is my passion. I step into their world for a moment and really deeply listen to what they are trying to tell me. That in turn allows them to stand in their own shoes more powerfully. If your child is being bullied or feels anxious, I would love to help them.