Resources for kids with anxiety
Life can be especially challenging for kids with anxiety. There are good resources out there, including this recent interview with Dr. Dawn Huebner, a psychologist and author who specializes in anxiety, and parenting strategies like Nurtured Heart Approach®, which aims to build a child’s Inner Wealth™.
If you’re looking for good, in-depth resources on childhood anxiety, check out the links above. “The Worry Song” is not that. (I told you I was committed to telling the truth.) This is more of a fun resource, a little ditty that popped into my strange, creative mind one day this past summer when my oldest, a kiddo with significant anxiety, kept getting stuck.
I don’t even remember why I recorded it. I was still trying to decide how serious I was about the blog, so maybe I was just playing with it. Or maybe I didn’t want to forget the lyrics and tune, which I’m sure I would have had I not captured it on video.
My own anxiety
Now for my own anxiety. I worry too much about what people think about me. Always have. Part of it is a good thing. Extreme self-awareness. But there are downsides, too. I have to work hard to balance what people will think of me with other factors (like what truly matters), pretty much all the time.
My self-aware self tells me NOT to post this video. My hair is disheveled, I am not wearing makeup, I don’t like my facial expressions, and I’ve gone into a character (which I do for my kids from time to time), where my typical, accent-less speaking voice turned super twangy and my singing voice sounds like a man. Truly, I can’t stop laughing at myself. These are all reasons that would usually prevent me from putting this video out there.
What I really want to do is to re-record it when my hair and makeup look good, paying more attention to the way my voice sounds and the way my face moves. I want to make it prettier. (I often want to do that with life.)
Things that truly matter
But there are a few things that are pushing me to post it as is, and they are the kinds of things that truly matter. 1) This blog is not called rose colored glasses. It’s Gray Colored Glasses. It’s supposed to be about what is real, not just what is perfect. 2) The whole point is to offer a little song to parents of kids with anxiety. Nobody cares about my hair and makeup anyway. And 3) Something Gillian wrote to me earlier this week really struck a chord…
A few weeks ago, I started passing a little journal back and forth to my seven year-old daughter. It has a page with prompts for me to fill out, followed by a page with prompts for her to fill out. The prompts are the same for both of us, like (“My best friend when I was growing up was…,” and “I liked her because….” And the same prompts, present day, for my daughter.) It’s a sweet way to tell her a little bit about me that she may not know and to learn more about what’s happening in her little mind and heart.
Last week, the prompts were, “What I admire most about you…,” and “You make me smile when….” It’s really important to me that Gillian knows how much I admire her as a growing girl, so I wrote a mini-novel in the space provided. This is what she wrote back to me [copied letter for letter, not typos]:
“What I admire most about you…your relly confident, Well I love EVERYTHING about you! You make me smile when…when you make up songs like…you are a kid your soposed to have fun.”
“The Worry Song”
There are few things in our home that I treasure more than that note. I want to be as confident as my daughter believes I am. And I want her to know that she is perfectly wonderful with messy hair and no makeup and that being herself is always good enough.
So I’m posting this for Gillian, and for Isaac, and for all of the kids with anxiety–and their parents–who need a little levity when life feels heavy. I hope it gets in your head enough that it will come to mind when you need it. It is kinda “sticky” that way!
Who knows, maybe Justin Roberts can make something bigger out of this little ditty. If you don’t know his music, I highly recommend it. He is a childhood friend of our neighbor and a Grammy-nominated musician with a whole repertoire of clever and imaginative music for children.
“The Worry Song” is not Grammy material, to be sure, but I hope it’s helpful to other moms and dads out there with kiddos who struggle. As my friend, Christy, recently reminded me, you are not alone.