The first time was when one of my girls was in third grade.
A boy had thrown up on the bus and now my sweet little third grader didn’t want to ride the bus anymore.
And right around that same time, another boy threw up in the classroom. And another in the lunchroom.
So suddenly she no longer wanted to go to school.
As third grade ended, she begged and pleaded for us to homeschool her.
We took her to therapy to deal with her anxieties around emetophobia — the fear of throwing up — and made strong headways.
But I’ll never, ever forget the teary mess she was on her first day of fourth grade, which quickly became her favorite year ever. She was shaking. Crying. And just so utterly afraid and filled with anxiety.
All summer she refused to acknowledge that she would return to school. She didn’t want to be called a fourth grader. She didn’t want to talk about school. She didn’t have any joy over school shopping. She was silently quiet.
We worked so hard at being her ally through all the fears and worries and anxieties and she managed to go to fourth grade and LOVE it.
Raising anxious children isn’t easy. It can really impact the whole family.
And yet my daughter is mow thriving and soaring in middle school right now.
It would have been easy to brush off her worries. Tell her to toughen up. Just get over it.
But that’s not what we did. We chose to be her ally in this battle of the mind.