This section is to give you some information about what you shouldn't be doing and why. I hope it helps and makes sense, but if not, use the 'Email Us' facility to ask questions:
- DONT : Use force to get your child into school. Remember that this is a real fear and extreme level of anxiety. Think of your worst fear and someone forcing you to confront it. This method of 'facing your fears' is called "Flooding" and is risky. It is common for children to worsen and suffer long-term effect which are possibly due to the fact that children have minimal emotional and physical control to refuse.
- DONT : Feel let down or let your child see that you feel this way. During a failed effort and upon a return to Home (place of safety) your child will feel a spell of relief and may make you promises about trying harder the next day. This may fail again so reassurances must be put in place that if it does go wrong, its OK. They tried.
- DONT : remove your child's devices ie: mobile phone, iPad, tablet, laptop, gaming etc. These are methods of coping and quite frequently thought to be a route to disciplining children. The reason is they are a coping mechanism, which fit with the 'mind over matter' strategies; without the child possibly reaslising this. Think of it this way. We as adults have worries and anxieties and possibly heightened now you are experiencing this with your child. When we are busy, our minds are occupied by carrying out the task. When the task is over, we get a thud or rush of fear through our minds and stomachs as we recall what we were worrying about (sound familiar?). The anxiety returns until you find another task. For our children, they put so much effort into their devices because this is when their mind is occupied and they have respite from their anxiety. When these items are taken away, coping becomes difficult as the overwhelming anxiety returns.
- DONT : be forced into something that doesn't feel right. Trust your gut instinct. It is more reliable that you may realise.
- DONT : force your child to bed at night. Many parents report that their child's sleep pattern alters and they stay awake refusing to sleep. For children, its a method of slowing down time. Have you ever woken and thought to yourself how fast the morning has come around. Usually that's because you've fallen asleep and slept right through. For children, they need to control that period of time and stop it from arriving so quickly. So.... they refuse to go to bed. Yes your child will become exhausted but the choice to fall asleep or not is one thing they can control. However, many children will try their hardest and simply fall asleep.
- DONT : forget about you. Too many of us are going through this without support, an avenue to vent and you will become a nervous wreck. Share and get things off your chest. We have a fabulous group on FACEBOOK where everyone will listen and advise you. Please don't suffer alone.
Are there any DONT's that you feel should be added? Let us know through the 'Email Us' tab above.