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Ep36: Consult a Counselor

by Vanessa De Jesus Guzman
September 10th 2021

The “Consult a Counselor Series” is a segment of the Free to Be Mindful podcast, which answers parenting related questions to help caregivers live life mindfully. 

Today’s question: “How d... More

Hi and welcome back to the consultant counselor series. In the series, I answer parenting related questions so that you can be present and at ease with your child and live life mindfully. Today's question is my kid tells me they're anxious, How do I know if it's for real? Now in the world we live in today, kids have so much at their fingertips and they have access to so much that they can see anxiety being played out where anxious feelings being played out in other people and sometimes they can kind of develop some habits but we should not discount that because they may indeed be managing really anxious feelings that perhaps are getting in the way of their everyday living. And sometimes anxiety in adults is seen very differently than anxiety as it is shown in kids. Now, first in adults, sometimes you don't have to look very anxious in your face and you may not even outwardly feel very anxious, but I will share with you before my first day of school as an educator, I woke up every two hours on the dot Now I didn't feel nervous, nor did I have any particular feelings about starting the new school year, but my body did.

So it's really important for us to share with kids what anxiety perhaps can feel in their bodies and for them to know that there isn't a cookie cutter way that they can experience anxious feelings or worried feelings in a lot of different ways before we get into the ways it's important to understand that there are different types of anxieties that our kids and even adults can deal with. So there is separation anxiety which we often see with our littles when they're afraid from being away from their parents. We have different types of social anxiety. So perhaps going to school are going to a place where there are a lot of people, there's general anxiety which is basically being worried about something in the past or something that has yet to happen. There are of course different types of phobias which even we as adults can have phobias, let's say about snakes or clowns or even everyday objects and then there's panic disorders which they can experience in a sudden way and they can really take over your body.

Now, having understood these types of anxieties, we definitely know that kids can get nervous, they can get more introverted or they can also become more extroverted in the sense that they can become irritable or angry and that's something that we perhaps may not see or feel ourselves as adults, but in kids, when they become more irritable or more angry than normal, they may indeed be experiencing anxiety, but it shows up very differently in Children. Other things that they can also experience is like what I was experiencing the lack of sleeping or having trouble falling asleep and headaches, migraine being really tired and even stomach aches so oftentimes our kids will complain a lot about somatic symptoms that their belly hurts or they have a really bad headache where they just can't focus and that maybe anxiety creeping up as well.

So when helping kids with anxiety, you can give it a name. So mine is worry wanda and I tell where we wanted to get out of here when I am having a lot of worried thoughts, so you can do the same for your kids. Now when you see their anxiety is getting in the way of their everyday life of schooling, after school activities and the things that they once used to find enjoyable. That's when it may be time to seek the help of a licensed therapist to teach your child's coping skills so that they know how to manage their anxious symptoms and so that they can live healthy lives. So I hope this helped if you think that this could help another mom, dad or parent friend, be sure to share it with them and subscribe to my podcast so that you don't miss out on the next one. If you have any questions for the consultant counselor series, you can always email me at hello at free to be mindful dot com or dM me on instagram at counselor v dejesus and remember in a world where you are free to be anything that you want to be, you are always free to be mindful.

Thanks so much. Catch you next time

Ep36: Consult a Counselor
Ep36: Consult a Counselor
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