Did anything help you?
Did your parents know if you worried a lot?
Did/could they help you?
Did anything help you?
As a child I was a walking worry machine-- both real and imagined worries-- growing up I got into a lot of unecessary trouble because of it. Now, I just manage it better.
The only thing I really remember being fearful of was car crashes. I have no idea why - I was never in a car crash as a kid and don't remember ever seeing a really horrid crash -- but I never felt safe riding in a car. I didn't learn to drive until I was well into my 20s and I still hate driving. I'm not afraid to ride in cars or to drive anymore but I don't enjoy it.
Mo worries about everything and I mean everything. His school had a field trip to the art museum yesterday and he worried for a week that the building was going to be "too big". He was vague about why the size of the building made him feel nervous. He will find some little thing to worry about in just about any situation.
For us, preparation is the key to easing the fears. We talk and talk and I try to realistically address all of the things he can think up about what could go wrong.
I was highly anxious as a child. K was/is highly anxious. The uncanny thing that I noticed in her as an infant/toddler was that her list of fears mirrored my own.
Dogs and bees especially. With K it was anything she couldn't predict. A balloon that might pop, a dog that might jump/bite, an insect that might sting... She also has a very strong anxiety about being abandoned. She learned to crawl early so that she could follow me from room to room. Neither she nor I handle change very well. I don't remember my own early childhood of course but if she was naked she hated getting dressed, if she was dressed she hated getting undressed. Baths were hell -- she couldn't stand going from being dry to getting wet. We finally gave up on baths altogether and washed her with a wet washcloth until she was old enough to sit up in a ring in the tub. Once she had some ability to control the situation she was fine.
She has tackled many of her anxieties over the years as have I. We are both still generally anxious by nature. I sometimes jokingly refer to her as my velcro-child but it's true. She has recently moved away to college and is having a very hard time adjusting to being away from home.
Well, of course there were the monsters under the bed...and the monsters in the forbidden locked closet in my room...and the ghosts behind the attic access panel in my closet. And the threat of nuclear destruction. And tornadoes. And heights. And covered bridges. All ordinary stuff, though. I don't think I was any more fearful than average.
SonofEva has always been a very secure child, but even he was terrified that there were monsters behind the drawn shower curtain in his bathroom. That's why he always insisted it be left open. (I just found this out through one of his creative writing assignments.)
I do believe that most children have deeper fears than adults. Perhaps it comes from the lack of control over their world. Or more unbridled imaginations.
I had a pretty carefree childhood, shielded from any worries my parents have
had. In our neighborhood most people left their doors open, we kids were
playing outside until dusk and no one worried about burglars, being kidnapped
or otherwise hurt.
I was afraid of snakes though - unfounded as we didn't have any in the city,
but my grandmother used to tell me "fairy tales" of rivers with snakes in them
where the bad guys were thrown into. Gosh, she would make millions today
as a horror fiction writer....
I remember the first time I worried about dying. I am not sure my age, but I would say around kindergarten or first grade. We were driving by a cemetery and I could see that they digging a grave. Wham! It hit me " I would die some day and then it would end. I lost a lot of sleep with this worrying. My parents never knew I worried about it and I never brought it up to them. I eventually got over it, but I would say it was huge for me.
More recently, my younger daughter at 5 was worried her heart would stop beating and she would die. My older daughter had read something to her about a girl that had died (I forget what was cause), but my little girl once screamed in the car " call 9-1-1! We nearly had a heart attack ourselves. Then she said, my heart stopped beating. We talked with her about it and finally one day she announced she was no longer worried about her heart not beating.
My daughters do seem to bring things up to me which I think does help them " I can tell it doesn’t completely stop the worrying, but at least they are more calmed by it and it helps them deal with things. Which is much more than I had " for whatever reason I do not remember ever discussing worries with my parents " I think I may have been afraid they would tease me or make fun of my worries. Fortunately for me and my children, it doesn’t appear they have an issue with bringing the same sort worries to me.
JPB's post made me re- think if being fearful is something you're born into or
Since JPB was a fearful child and her daughter is from an early age on too,
she couldn't have transmitted her fears into the child. Interesting!