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Leaving an anxious kid



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amother
OP


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 7:41 am
My husband and I had a very very challenging year.. we moved with kids mid elementary age and younger to a new city, have a very ill parent and a lot of financial pressure. It’s been a rollercoaster.
My husbands company is offering him to go to a conference this summer. His flight and hotel stay will be paid for. It would be so nice to use this time as a get away cuz we’d only have time pay for my flight (plus anything we do while there, but thinking mostly to take it easy).
We have family in a city nearby who offered to take all of my kids bh!! Grandparents are in the same city and it’s over a weekend so they’ll go there Shabbos and stay with aunts, uncles and cousins during the day or 2 before and after. My older kids are very excited and my 2 year old is super care free and will be fine. But my 4 year old son is the hardest kid to leave. A few months back I had to go to Mikvah and my husband was by work, I though this kid was asleep but apparently he was awake in his bed, he heard the door open for the babysitter and when he saw her there he screamed till I got home. He has intense separation anxiety. If he doesn’t see me for 3 seconds in a public place he starts to panic.
I’m looking for advice .. I have a bunch of weeks till the conference so I’m wondering what I can do in advance to prepare him (& myself!) or any ideas that worked for any of you leaving a kid like this?
**pls, pls for the sake of my marriage and my sanity don’t tell me not to go, it’s unhelpful. Thank you!!!**
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amother
Rainbow


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 7:47 am
OP, I have a highly anxious kid as well, so I do understand you. You said you had a difficult year. This means that the child had a difficult year as well. I honestly don't think it's the right time to leave the child at this point. I know you didn't want to hear this, but you need to think of it from the child's perspective. You can't know how the events of this past year, effected the child.
Maybe reach out to a child therapist or social worker that deals with anxiety, and ask them for tips on how to go about this & how you can prepare your child for when you need to go away.
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amother
Yellow


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 7:47 am
Would you do a practice sleepover for one night?

I think he’ll survive but are your relatives ok with supporting him through it is the question.
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amother
Rainbow


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 7:49 am
amother Yellow wrote:
Would you do a practice sleepover for one night?

I think he’ll survive but are your relatives ok with supporting him through it is the question.


He will survive physically, but if he has intense separation anxiety & anxiety it general, it may effect him badly emotionally.
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amother
Cappuccino


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 7:50 am
What would you do if you were having a baby? You would have no choice and your kid would have to deal. I don’t have advice for you to prepare but I came here to say please do not get guilted into staying home. Go and enjoy!
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tichellady




 
 
    
 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 7:54 am
I would get a book about parents leaving and coming back. I have one I like that comes with a heart for the parents and kid to hold while they are apart. Daniel tiger also has a great episode about that. I support you going away but just want to let you know that he may be very hard when you get back, so just plan for that. My kids are especially difficult once we come back from trips so we have to plan for that
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amother
Rainbow


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 7:56 am
OP, maybe don't talk about it to him too much in advance, it may just make him more anxious.
You can also do a sticker chart/calendar for the days you are away, and he can put a sticker on the chart every day till you get back.
If possible, maybe have the kids stay with the same family for the entire time. Being shifted between families, may also cause more anxiety in an already anxious child.
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amother
Moonstone


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 7:56 am
Can you go to these relatives a couple days early and stay as a family? Maybe will ease the transition?
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Goldengoose




 
 
    
 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 7:59 am
can you take said child along with you?
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amother
Green


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 8:00 am
Does he know these relatives well?
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amother
Green


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 8:04 am
amother OP wrote:
My husband and I had a very very challenging year.. we moved with kids mid elementary age and younger to a new city, have a very ill parent and a lot of financial pressure. It’s been a rollercoaster.
My husbands company is offering him to go to a conference this summer. His flight and hotel stay will be paid for. It would be so nice to use this time as a get away cuz we’d only have time pay for my flight (plus anything we do while there, but thinking mostly to take it easy).
We have family in a city nearby who offered to take all of my kids bh!! Grandparents are in the same city and it’s over a weekend so they’ll go there Shabbos and stay with aunts, uncles and cousins during the day or 2 before and after. My older kids are very excited and my 2 year old is super care free and will be fine. But my 4 year old son is the hardest kid to leave. A few months back I had to go to Mikvah and my husband was by work, I though this kid was asleep but apparently he was awake in his bed, he heard the door open for the babysitter and when he saw her there he screamed till I got home. He has intense separation anxiety. If he doesn’t see me for 3 seconds in a public place he starts to panic.
I’m looking for advice .. I have a bunch of weeks till the conference so I’m wondering what I can do in advance to prepare him (& myself!) or any ideas that worked for any of you leaving a kid like this?
**pls, pls for the sake of my marriage and my sanity don’t tell me not to go, it’s unhelpful. Thank you!!!**


Can you and dh have 1-2 nights alone and the rest of the time together with family? That seems like a good compromise.
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amother
OP


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 8:40 am
Goldengoose wrote:
can you take said child along with you?


No I can’t take him along and leave the rest of the kids. It just won’t fly with my other kids. Can’t afford extra flights and hotel rooms etc.
yes he knows these relatives very well to the poster asking …
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amother
Blue


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 8:45 am
U have enough time to get him some therapy which sounds like it would anyways be beneficial.
When your gone have a countdown chart with a treat attached to each day until you get back. (Can do a separate one for each kid)
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amother
OP


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 8:50 am
amother Rainbow wrote:
OP, I have a highly anxious kid as well, so I do understand you. You said you had a difficult year. This means that the child had a difficult year as well. I honestly don't think it's the right time to leave the child at this point. I know you didn't want to hear this, but you need to think of it from the child's perspective. You can't know how the events of this past year, effected the child.
Maybe reach out to a child therapist or social worker that deals with anxiety, and ask them for tips on how to go about this & how you can prepare your child for when you need to go away.


I hear you but I actually see it differently. He’s a super anxious kid and he’s been this way pretty much since birth. I don’t believe that if we tried to go away last summer before all the choas that he would have acted even the slightest bit differently. This is his nature. From all my kids he had the easiest transition to the move. He was 3 when we left and he joined a new class here the same way he would have in our old town and the ill grandparent is OOT and is very painful emotionally but he’s little and unaware ..
are u saying, you can never leave an anxious kid? I’m sure there are people who would agree with you but right now I’m looking to hear how I can make it work for the benefit of my marriage and mental health and not really looking to be told not to go
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amother
Hibiscus


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 8:55 am
I’ve had a kid like this. You can try to work on his anxiety from different directions, but ultimately if you leave him in such a state it will likely affect him badly.
My kids anxiety was due to pandas. Some kids have other issues that cause the anxiety. Anxiety does not exist in a vacuum. It is usually due to a gut imbalance and it can be hard to figure out.
Do you think he would be OK with taking pictures of you and your husband along? Maybe a special blanket? A new toy?
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amother
Rainbow


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 8:56 am
amother OP wrote:
I hear you but I actually see it differently. He’s a super anxious kid and he’s been this way pretty much since birth. I don’t believe that if we tried to go away last summer before all the choas that he would have acted even the slightest bit differently. This is his nature. From all my kids he had the easiest transition to the move. He was 3 when we left and he joined a new class here the same way he would have in our old town and the ill grandparent is OOT and is very painful emotionally but he’s little and unaware ..
are u saying, you can never leave an anxious kid? I’m sure there are people who would agree with you but right now I’m looking to hear how I can make it work for the benefit of my marriage and mental health and not really looking to be told not to go

Which is why I mentioned to reach out to a therapist or social worker that specializes in anxiety/separation anxiety in children, and ask them how to go about preparing your child.
And not staying with the same family throughout the entire stay, can also make an anxious child feel even more unsettled. So I'd try to have the kids stay at the same place throughout the stay, rather then being shuttled between different families.
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amother
Peony


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 9:03 am
I have a kid with anxiety as well so I know exactly what you mean.
I find that the anticipation of me leaving is so much worse then me actually going.
Once I'm out, if he is with someone safe, that he knows well, I have learned to leave him.
He doesn't love it, but I don't think it hurts him either.

What I would do is not talk about it until a day or two before. No use prolonging the agony.
Then set him up with whatever makes him feel comfortable. Pack all his favorite things and plan for what he can do if he misses you (call you when he gets home from school, color a picture to give you when you get back, listen to a story CD etc.)
Also tell him clearly who he can go to if he feels sad. Let him know its ok to feel sad.
Make sure you reassure him that you will be back.
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amother
Yellow


 

Post Thu, May 16 2024, 9:08 am
tichellady wrote:
I would get a book about parents leaving and coming back. I have one I like that comes with a heart for the parents and kid to hold while they are apart. Daniel tiger also has a great episode about that. I support you going away but just want to let you know that he may be very hard when you get back, so just plan for that. My kids are especially difficult once we come back from trips so we have to plan for that


Agree on this point. My anxious child (was also 3 at the time) had a few rough months after I went away for a bit - it was for a medical thing she had no clue about and she actually didn’t seem so unsettled when I actually left, stayed by grandparents got prizes etc.

When we came home she refused to go to playgroup and wanted to be near me 24/7 literally, had accidents which she never struggled with before and was super anxious. It passed bh with time and lots of extra tlc but I would be prepared for it.
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