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  1. #1
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Progress in the parenting department

    I hope all you folks will be so kind as to let me use the "This and That" section to just be me for a moment. Unfortunately I don't really have anyone to talk to about this because really, people try to understand but don't, and I suppose the animosity of being online sometimes makes it easier to have a moment of honesty and then I can just carry on as usual.

    I am sure that this will seem trivial to many, but for me today is another big step towards letting go of my kids a little bit more. We all have to do it at some time, but I have trauma associated OCD towards the subject of my children's safety. I am not a helicopter parent at all, but if I have no control over a situation my kids are in then I start to lose my mind. I can totally care for little kids without any fear because they are so dependent on adults and there is a much heavier amount of control that a caregiver has at the under 5 age, but my kids are 12 and nearly 14 and as they get older, my anxiety starts to get wildly out of control at times. Because I have to internalize it to be able to function in day to day life, there are times when I feel like I may explode. It's actually got considerably better, and generally speaking I do a great job of managing it now, but currently I have PMS which throws a huge wrench in the managing my fears and emotions challenge.

    My daughter is walking home from school today with a few friends and it is a 40 minute walk across town. Even typing this sounds absolutely ridiculous as I went to high school at 11 and my walk was nearly two hours if I missed the bus, which was regularly, and my parents were not around to give me a ride. I have been so involved in my kids lives as a result of doing daycare, that as they start to have more and more independence, it is very hard to let them go without all these fears flooding my mind. The dependency role has shifted from them on me to me on them. This really just reinforces that my choice to close my daycare and start a new path of self discovery as a singular being is a great choice moving forward. Good for me and better for my kids.

    I'm feeling okay overall, and hopefully I won't clock watch to much come 3:30 lol My daughter has stayed away so much with girl guides over the years which I think helps, but my son...well that will be another thing that I will save the worrying about for later lol

    I think my situation gives me an advantage when dealing with the neurotic parent type because I am not quick to judge and I am open minded enough to think for a minute, that perhaps this isn't straight forward for them and what that person needs is support, not criticism. I would like to use my own situation as an example to those quick to judge a neurotic parent who appears to helicopter or worry over the slightest little things. I don't begin to assume to have the first clue what it's like in another persons shoes or to think I could possibly understand what it's like for them. I can not reiterate enough how I do not just simply have the choice to change. PTSD is not just a psychological/psychiatric condition. It is physiological too so you can't just retrain you brain as simply as you would think. It always amazes me how much the media and certain showbiz personalities are forever saying that it is a choice. Not for everyone! I am learning to manage it now versus trying to fix it.

    Thanks for letting me come here to just have an offload. Not so much a vent but just a place to empty my thoughts and once again speak about what is a very much taboo subject in the hopes of publicly or privately helping others see they are not alone in their struggles. I am a great caregiver and mother...so places like this for support and a platform to let some of what is inside out, are instrumental to my ability to continue positively in all areas of my life

    Have a great Thursday folks!

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  3. #2
    Euphoric !
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    My sister have big anxieties about her children too. I think based in our life in Russian village before we come here as little girls.

    It is very real anxiety in her and even if I talk her through the situation and she can see that she's blowing out of proportion, the worry physically affect her. Sweaty palms, heart racing. Can actually see with own eyes the effect.

    Does you child have cell phone? My sister found helpful to explain to her children that her anxiety was very real to experience although she totally understood was disproportionate (think that right word) to situation.

    She asks her children to please be supportive in learning to accept them getting older and in allowing age appropriate freedoms. She asked them to please, just periodically send quick message to let her know they okay. Not big explanation about where on route they were, who was there, how much longer, just simply that they coming as agreed, and with friends and were okay.

    Little steps, lot of support and honesty with children to acknowledge it your issue not theirs but you trying hard to allow the freedoms you know they deserve so please can they help enable this as you adjust.

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  5. #3
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzie_Homemaker View Post
    My sister have big anxieties about her children too. I think based in our life in Russian village before we come here as little girls.

    It is very real anxiety in her and even if I talk her through the situation and she can see that she's blowing out of proportion, the worry physically affect her. Sweaty palms, heart racing. Can actually see with own eyes the effect.

    Does you child have cell phone? My sister found helpful to explain to her children that her anxiety was very real to experience although she totally understood was disproportionate (think that right word) to situation.

    She asks her children to please be supportive in learning to accept them getting older and in allowing age appropriate freedoms. She asked them to please, just periodically send quick message to let her know they okay. Not big explanation about where on route they were, who was there, how much longer, just simply that they coming as agreed, and with friends and were okay.

    Little steps, lot of support and honesty with children to acknowledge it your issue not theirs but you trying hard to allow the freedoms you know they deserve so please can they help enable this as you adjust.
    Thank you for your kind words Suzie.

    I do talk to my kids honestly. I try to make it about respect versus fear. I also make sure to reinforce regularly that this is not their fault and that there is nothing to be scared of. As much as they can comprehend I tell them. An incredible amount of adults don't understand and an adolescents mind works very differently from an adults so even if we make it clear and simple to understand, they can still interpret it differently. That is why I don't put to much emphasis on the fear to them even though in my head that's what it is.

    I have tried very hard to ask them to message me or call me with a quick check in should their plans change and they not arrive home on time. My son went missing (in my mind) last year for a good 45 minutes because of his thoughtlessness, although he was just being a kid and didn't actually do anything wrong. That brought it home to my kids like a ton of bricks when they saw how I unravelled, so no more protecting them from that point, more educating them on the reality of my situation.

    Fortunately so far so good. My son is a logical thinker so we have regular conversations about so many things, not because I push him but because he is genuinely intrigued by life in general that he asks me. My daughter is the one who internalizes so I touch base with her from time to time and sometimes she is fine and other times we will have some really great conversations.

    Mental Health and Sexuality are dinner table talk in our house My FIL has severe mental illness that is treated and the kids have been aware of this since a young age and we encourage dialogue to reduce misunderstanding and fear. I am doing a degree in sexuality come September along with Psychology and we have a very dynamic non nuclear circle of friends and family so we talk about that a lot too. Communication is key, along with balance lol I hope through my struggles I can be stronger for them and use my experiences to help others in the future

  6. #4
    Euphoric !
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    Something I just think about too - there is an app my friend has on his cellphone. He can see where his wife is in real time. She is psychologist so it not always okay for him to call or text her if she with client. Also she drive a lot between appointment, hospital, her office, so he not like to call her if she driving.

    I will ask him what it called.

    Maybe consider putting on your child's cellphone so you can see where they are. Maybe that reassuring to you that they were they should be. Not tool old for it to be intrusion of privacy really. Not like they 17 or older.

    I will e-mail him and ask what app is called - I come back and edit this when he tells me.

  7. #5
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    I don't have much to say that will help, my daughter is only 2, but I can say that from your post you sound like you have a very good understanding of yourself. I believe that knowing how you are feeling/reacting is not appropriate for the situation, despite your very physical responses is a HUGE factor in being able to cope with your anxieties. I do believe that this type of self insight is what helps determine those that learn to function with such an anxiety and those whom get completely controlled by the anxiety. Saying this doesn't help you any and doesn't make the anxiety any less but hopefully it helps remind you that you already have much working in your favour to stay strong.

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzie_Homemaker View Post
    Something I just think about too - there is an app my friend has on his cellphone. He can see where his wife is in real time. She is psychologist so it not always okay for him to call or text her if she with client. Also she drive a lot between appointment, hospital, her office, so he not like to call her if she driving.

    I will ask him what it called.

    Maybe consider putting on your child's cellphone so you can see where they are. Maybe that reassuring to you that they were they should be. Not tool old for it to be intrusion of privacy really. Not like they 17 or older.

    I will e-mail him and ask what app is called - I come back and edit this when he tells me.
    Just be mindful such a tool can easily become consuming. If you are anxious you may just sit and watch the app to see your childs every movement, which can feed the anxiety instead of distracting yourself and keeping busy to stay calm. Just be mindful of the cons of such a seemingly handy tool!

  10. #7
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzie_Homemaker View Post
    Something I just think about too - there is an app my friend has on his cellphone. He can see where his wife is in real time. She is psychologist so it not always okay for him to call or text her if she with client. Also she drive a lot between appointment, hospital, her office, so he not like to call her if she driving.

    I will ask him what it called.

    Maybe consider putting on your child's cellphone so you can see where they are. Maybe that reassuring to you that they were they should be. Not tool old for it to be intrusion of privacy really. Not like they 17 or older.

    I will e-mail him and ask what app is called - I come back and edit this when he tells me.
    I actually do have an app. It's built into the iphone but also there is another one too for non apple users. I don't have it turned on regularly as she is only allowed data in emergencies and she knows how to turn it on but otherwise it is off. She went trick or treating at Halloween for the first time alone, with friends in a couple of different neighbourhoods that were a good 20 minutes apart. The girls were so vague on how they were getting from A to B to C but I wanted to show my daughter that I trusted her to make those arrangements. I did sleep easier though seeing her at her final destination at the end of the night although I am fully aware that I can not do that every single time. This was a big first for her and also for me. It isn't a perfect solution or a long term one, but on the days I struggle more, this is an option. I turned it on for that, but I also invited a friend round to meal prep to distract me. I don't want to feed the anxiety. The way to get over anxiety is to not give it power. It is good to have the option though for times like these and hopefully in time, baby steps I know, I will no longer feel the "need" for it. Thanks again Suzie!
    Last edited by bright sparks; 03-12-2015 at 12:39 PM.

  11. #8
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee-Bee View Post
    Just be mindful such a tool can easily become consuming. If you are anxious you may just sit and watch the app to see your childs every movement, which can feed the anxiety instead of distracting yourself and keeping busy to stay calm. Just be mindful of the cons of such a seemingly handy tool!
    LOL that was pretty much my response to the post before reading yours It reinforces the anxiety which isn't healthy. That is why for the most part it is turned off. I don't want to become reliant on it for the exact reasons you stated Lee-Bee and so far I've managed to refrain from doing so for the most part.

  12. #9
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    Yes, I can see maybe it a tool to be used sparingly. I not consider that before posting.

    I think you doing all you can. You seem realistic in understanding it not healthy to feed and that children need to grow. It good that they be allowed to make little mistakes when young adults where parent can scoop up, reassure and try again. It the child who bubble-wrapped and never allowed to make mistake that struggles when finally leave home.

    Let the rope out a bit at a time, rein back in if need be, then let out again. It all learning experience for parent too not just for child.

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  14. #10
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    I totally agree that knowing yourself the way you do gives you a lot of power and control even though it might not always feel like it. Give yourself a high five for being an awesome mom despite your obstacles! You are doing the best you can with what you've been dealt and that's all your kids can ever ask for!

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