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Ep 10 | How to Help Anxiety

If you haven’t listened to Part one of this two parter then we recommend checking it out.  In that episode we talk about what anxiety can look like in kiddos.

In this episode, we talk about ways that worked for us to get through it.  Trish Wilkinson is also back to provide some other solutions and things to think about.

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We had a great time talking about this topic.  And while it’s geared towards kids experiences, there are great ideas for adults too.

Trish is back to share her thoughts.  She’s the author of Brain Stages and provides workshops for schools to help provide solutions for exceptional kids, those dealing with anxiety and anyone else.

Elinor in school struggled because understood the work and got it done quickly.  It was too easy and not challenging for her. Her teacher then asked her to help assist the other kids to get it done.

Trish developed a Gifted Contract to help empower all parties involved.  There is a link below in the resources section.  It gives the student the ability to come up with things that student can do to challenge themselves and dive deeper into topics.

Elinor didn’t have a contract, but we started going to therapy once a week.  She doesn’t go anymore, but she has some tools to calm her down.  At school, when she doesn’t get something perfectly she gets upset and cries.

A lot of times, people tell smart kids that they’re so smart all the time.  So when they don’t get something it makes it more frustrating for them that they don’t understand.

We try to help her find validation in herself.  Asking her, “aren’t you proud of yourself” just as much as we say, “I’m so proud of you!”

Using homeopathy was also helpful to give her something she could do to maintain control of her emotions and have at school with her.

Because we’re at a small private school we have the opportunity to work with her teacher one-on-one and troubleshoot triggers and how to work through them together.

Perfection is hard because it’s just not turning out the way you have it in your head.  But oftentimes when you look at the final product it’s even better than what you had imagined.

Some other things to think about for aiding in anxiety?

  • Meditation
  • Sound/noise when sleeping
  • Consistent bedtime routine
  • Visualization
  • Breathing – breathe longer on the exhale to help slow down your heart rate.

Elinor would have episodes where she’d get so upset it was like she wasn’t even there.  It was hard to have a conversation with her because she wasn’t even understanding what she was upset about.  Getting them to breathe and step away from the situation was the best way to calm her down so we could address what was really going on.

photo of a blue painting with a unicorn hidden in it

Elinor’s memories of her meltdowns are still there.  Her brain starts thinking about what happened and she can’t let it go so it just keeps building up.  When she starts crying it feels to her like she won’t be able to stop.  And she’s overwhelmed with what’s going through her mind.

Trish’s suggestion is to visualize her thoughts and pack them in a box and put them off to the side and let them go.

Now, Elinor is getting much better to let things go and say “it’s in the past.”

Remember that all kids and people are different.  Keep trying different things until you find something that works.

Don’t be afraid to get help if you need it or it becomes too much.

Time Stamp

(2:42) Elinor struggled with not being challenged in class
(3:13) Creating a gifted contract can help kids and teachers
(5:51) What did we do for Elinor?
(8:08) Teach her to find value in herself
(8:28) Homeopathy
(8:59) Working closely with her teacher
(11:07) Perfection is subjective
(11:38) What are Trish’s other ideas?
(14:23) Breathing helps to get them calm so you can talk.
(15:01) What sparks the meltdown isn’t the reason why it’s happening
(16:39) Does Elinor remember what it feels like?
(17:49) Using guided visualization can help.
(20:00) All kids are different

Resources

Gifted Contract
Stop, Breathe, Think Kids Meditation App

Trish Wilkinson

Trish Wilkinson

Co-Author, Brain Stages: How to Raise Smart, Confident Kids and Have Fun Doing It, K-5

Trish Wilkinson, co-author of Brain Stages: How to Raise Smart, Confident Kids and Have Fun Doing It, K-5 and mother of two twice-exceptional children, has taught grades kindergarten through sixth in both public and private schools. She earned a BA in recreation from California State University, Long Beach, where she first discovered the power of play to educate kids — socially and emotionally as well as academically. Trish did graduate work at California State Universities, Los Angeles and Chico, to earn a Clear Multiple-Subject Teaching Credential and Language Development Specialist certification. Today, Trish facilitates life-changing workshops for parents and teachers. It’s amazing what can happen when years of creativity and practical experience merge with thousands of hours of brain research. She lives in Bend, Oregon, with her awesome husband, Chuck, and their rambunctious golden retriever, Alice. After the podcast, you can visit her at thebrainstages.com.

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Elinor (daughter) and Sami (mom) were on vacation in Phoenix in March or 2019 when the concept of the mother-daughter podcast was born.

Sami, a digital marketing strategist, was working on her own podcast, when Elinor decided she needed one of her own.  When talking about concepts, the idea of having regular chats about life and recording them came up.

And with that, Conversations with My Daughter was born.

Each week, a new topic, and possible life lesson, are brought to you with the hopes it will make you smile, remember conversations with your own mom, and hopefully inspire new conversations with your own children.