"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves." --Rainer Maria Rilke Photo (Photo ©julenisse/Fotolia)

Thursday, June 09, 2016

When You Miss the Signs of Your Kid’s Anxiety

As seen on Parent.Co! 

It began with the “sock problem.” 

My daughter Ellie and I spent an agonizing ten minutes every morning finding the perfect pair of socks for her tiny, three-year-old feet. The nubby seam across the toes bothered my daughter to the point of such intense aggravation that she’d kick, cry and throw socks in frustration. In Target we’d sit on the floor tearing open plastic bags so she could try on socks before we bought them—whatever it took to avoid the ones that were uncomfortable and angst producing.

I tried to be calm and sympathetic, but the truth is I thought she was willful and finicky. I didn’t recognize Ellie’s tactile discomfort as a symptom of a larger problem. I missed the significance of the signs, unaware that her sensitivity and shyness foreshadowed an anxiety disorder so severe that it eventually morphed into a full-blown phobia known as school refusal.

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