Home

My 6 year old panics..what to do

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Parenting our children -> School age children


View latest: 24h 48h 72h


amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Jan 20 2020, 10:17 am
Hi all,

I have a 6 YO son, he's doing well in school and at home, has friends, is happy and thriving. His main struggle is that he can get very...panick-y. I don't know how else to describe it. When something, no matter how minor, comes up and he starts to get upset that he can't handle it, he literally just starts bawling which leads to him coughing which sometimes leads to him even throwing up because he's crying so hysterically. Some examples of things that will set this off: last night he got out of the shower and was cold, because, well, he was wet and it was chilly in the house. So he starts crying that he's cold. I told him to quickly get dressed and maybe put on a sweatshirt to warm up, but he insisted that he couldn't possibly move bc he was so cold, and starting screaming. Went from 0 to 100 in about 10 seconds.
Another example was the time he took a jump rope and thought it would be fun to tie it nice and tight around his waist. When that proved to be a bad idea, instead of asking me for help (I was in the kitchen, he was in the playroom which is right off the kitchen) he just starting rolling around on the floor screaming.
I just don't really know what to do. I'm not gonna lie, I find it really annoying, but obviously he's a kid and must have some sort of anxiety that makes him just erupt this way, so I try to deal with these outbursts patiently and lovingly. I will usually just go over to him and say what it is HE should be saying to me - (Mommy, can you untie this jumprope? It's hurting me. Mommy, can you help me get changed? I'm cold. That sort of thing), but it's been a year and a half of me trying this and he's not changing. I'm getting really frustrated. He has a good vocabulary, and I know that yelling at him or getting mad is not going to help his anxiety but I'm getting so fed up over these things that I want to just ignore him. But while ignoring him might make me feel better, I don't think it's actually helping him at all, if anything it's feeding his anxiety that when he's in trouble no one cares or notices. But it's frustrating because if he would just ASK me for help, I'd gladly give it. I don't want to 'coddle' him and just give in to his theatrics every time, but at the same time I do want to address the root of these episodes, and give him the tools and confidence to communicate to problem solve, rather than just melt down.
I tried asking his teachers, but he doesn't really seem to behave similarly in school. His teachers say he does seem to ask the same question a few times every now and then, so they do see a hint of his anxiety there, but nothing major or concerning.
If anyone has anything helpful to tell me, I'd really appreciate it.
Back to top

amother




Apricot
 

Post  Mon, Jan 20 2020, 10:25 am
When someone goes into panic mode, they're not capable of thinking rationally and verbalizing their needs calmly. Just so you know, one of my kids got the same way about being cold after a bath. Went into total hysterics. In my experience the best way to handle it is to 1. Take them seriously and don't downplay their concern 2. Give them concrete help. So for example I would say "oh no, it's so freezing and you can't even move! Let me wrap you up in the towel even tighter. Then I'll bring your pajamas into the bathroom and close the door so no cold air comes in." I would do that, and then ask if they want me to stay in the bathroom while they put on pajamas, or do they want to surprise me and come out when they're done. After a couple of times doing that, my child was able to proactively problem solve and asked me to bring the pajamas in and close the door before they even got out of the bath. No more hysterics.
Back to top

amother




Sienna
 

Post  Mon, Jan 20 2020, 10:30 am
Dealing with something similar so following..
Back to top

amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Jan 20 2020, 10:34 am
amother [ Apricot ] wrote:
When someone goes into panic mode, they're not capable of thinking rationally and verbalizing their needs calmly. Just so you know, one of my kids got the same way about being cold after a bath. Went into total hysterics. In my experience the best way to handle it is to 1. Take them seriously and don't downplay their concern 2. Give them concrete help. So for example I would say "oh no, it's so freezing and you can't even move! Let me wrap you up in the towel even tighter. Then I'll bring your pajamas into the bathroom and close the door so no cold air comes in." I would do that, and then ask if they want me to stay in the bathroom while they put on pajamas, or do they want to surprise me and come out when they're done. After a couple of times doing that, my child was able to proactively problem solve and asked me to bring the pajamas in and close the door before they even got out of the bath. No more hysterics.


Thanks- just reading that someone is dealing with something similar makes me feel better already.

I have tried that, I just feel like he's not taking that leap from me giving that help to him proactively doing it on his own.
The not downplaying is something I have to work on because lately I've just been getting frustrated, and I know that that's not helping.
Back to top

amother




Apricot
 

Post  Mon, Jan 20 2020, 10:40 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
Thanks- just reading that someone is dealing with something similar makes me feel better already.

I have tried that, I just feel like he's not taking that leap from me giving that help to him proactively doing it on his own.
The not downplaying is something I have to work on because lately I've just been getting frustrated, and I know that that's not helping.


Downplaying tends to make anxiety worse. If he doesn't have that reassurance from you he might never take that leap. It's a process, and he needs to not feel alone in it.
Back to top

amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Jan 20 2020, 11:31 am
bump
Back to top

FranticFrummie




 
 
 
 

Post  Mon, Jan 20 2020, 11:37 am
Can you discuss this right before he gets in the shower? Have a warm and fuzzy bathrobe hanging on a hook right next to the shower, so he can bundle up.

Start discussing problem solving before he gets into situations, and do some role playing. If that doesn't work, he probably needs to be seen by a psychiatrist or therapist to help handle his anxiety.
Back to top

amother




Sienna
 

Post  Mon, Jan 20 2020, 11:38 am
The one thing that I think over and over again is that panic attacks pass as quickly as they came.
Usually something triggers it and it’s good to be aware of what those triggers are (like an accident in school, an upcoming dentist appointment..)
If panic attacks are not in infrequent occurrence then the child probably needs to be medicated but for sure therapy first to get to the bottom of what’s causing the attacks.
Back to top

amother




Apricot
 

Post  Mon, Jan 20 2020, 11:57 am
amother [ Sienna ] wrote:
The one thing that I think over and over again is that panic attacks pass as quickly as they came.
Usually something triggers it and it’s good to be aware of what those triggers are (like an accident in school, an upcoming dentist appointment..)
If panic attacks are not in infrequent occurrence then the child probably needs to be medicated but for sure therapy first to get to the bottom of what’s causing the attacks.


Op is not describing panic attacks. She's describing a child who gets dysregulated when his body is in discomfort and he can't resolve it on his own.
Back to top

amother




OP
 

Post  Mon, Jan 20 2020, 1:43 pm
amother [ Apricot ] wrote:
Op is not describing panic attacks. She's describing a child who gets dysregulated when his body is in discomfort and he can't resolve it on his own.


Curious what you mean by this? I'm trying to think if all the instances are related to physical discomfort. He does also get worked up if he gets frustrated over something (lego not working, can't get a knot out of his shoelaces and he thinks we're going to leave home without him..) but I guess it typically is related to a discomfort.

Maybe I should just speak with someone in school and see if they have any insights for me.
Back to top
Recent Topics

Page 1 of 1 View latest: 24h 48h 72h


Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Parenting our children -> School age children

Related Topics Replies Last Post
ART TEACHER FOR 9 YEAR OLD BOY IN LAKEWOOD
by amother
3 Yesterday at 11:40 pm View last post
How many days of school in school year?
by amother
6 Mon, Feb 24 2020, 9:31 am View last post
ISO 3 year old playgroup- Flatbush 1 Thu, Feb 20 2020, 9:42 pm View last post
by bsy
12 year old girl wants to board to attend Ben Porat Yosef 1 Thu, Feb 20 2020, 6:18 pm View last post
Which chores do your 6-10 year olds do?
by amother
15 Thu, Feb 20 2020, 2:20 pm View last post

Jump to: