about a dream: poor nina has a lot of anxiety

Thursday, January 27, 2011

poor nina has a lot of anxiety

i know it runs in the family, so it doesn't surprise me. but poor nina has so much anxiety! like with most kids, it's the worst at night, so we usually talk about how to deal with it at night. i tell her she can either a) try very hard to only think about happy things (and then i give her examples of complex happy things that will occupy her brain, like planning a trip, or doing math in her head), or that she can b) think about what she could do to make it better if the thing she is worrying about were to happen (i think that's what a lot of kids do--plan how they would get out in case of a fire or whatever. i've tried telling her that worrying can be your body's way of preparing you for dangerous situations, so it can actually keep you safe, making it a very good thing! so far nina doesn't appreciate the good side of worry though, so i'm emphasizing strategy A for now).

ANYWAY, if you have any ideas about soothing her worry, lemme know. but i wanted to tell you all about this, and then share some of the typical childhood, and some of the more zany, things she comes up with to worry about.

right now, she worries about:
things going down the drain in the tub
that she'll go after things going down the drain and get her arm stuck (a kid classic!)
that maggie might try to flush teddy bunny bear down the toilet (she's worried both about the damage to the toilet and the damage to teddy bunny bear, whom she loves dearly)
the ball that got stuck in the tube at the portland children's museum. kind of a long story, i don't feel like writing it out, but we got the ball out by sending another ball up the tube. i was surprised that this generated so much anxiety for her.
and a new one today. she said she's worried about her body "doing things wrong." i asked her what she meant by that, and she said, "like, what if i had diarrhea and it moved up into my small intestine instead of coming out?" man, i hope getting her those anatomy books wasn't a mistake!

poor nina though, it's tough to be a kid.

1 comment:

Oma said...

Hmmm ... now how would I, of all people, be able to tell Nina how not to worry?!? You can make it constructive, though: just think of a couple possible scenarios on solving the problem, file them away in your head, and you don't need to worry about it anymore because you're ready with a couple possible solutions on hand just in case the thing you're worrying about actually happens! See? Easy! (Now if I could only practice what I preach!)