So James' bicycle has been collecting dust in our garage. He's been too afraid to ride it, fear of falling. So when he plays in our culdesac he much rather ride his big wheel or wiggle car. To entice him to ride his bike I bought him a cool new helmet (that I scored at Ross for $5.99). We took him to a near by middle school to practice on their track. I think he's finally starting to get the hang of it! Since he hasn't rode his bike in awhile, and he's grown a couple inches we found out we need to raise the seat and handle bars. Doing that this weekend. But he went around the track a few times. And when we were ready to go he wanted to keep riding in the parking lot.
Our other child has been struggling with fear, or should I say anxiety lately. We have an anxious child. One of many phases I'm sure she will go through in the upcoming years. We started to notice a week ago or so that she was having trouble articulating what she wanted to say, fearful of giving the wrong answer or saying something that wasn't entirely truthful. She had lots of questions about honesty and asking if white lies were sins too. She also has been super emotional, crying about simple things like not closing the car door correctly. My thoughts were she could be going through some hormonal changes already (girls usually start going through puberty ages 10-12 but some can start as young as 8, she turns 10 this year). So we had some mother/daughter talks. I figured things at school were changing too. Now that she is in 3rd, school work is more demanding and they are preparing for STAAR testing. The kids are maturing and along with that comes feelings and crushes. One of her classmates already has to wear a bra!
So that being said, our little girl is experiencing some anxiety. In the past couple of days she's also been obsessing at home with washing her hands, brushing her teeth for a real long time, and praying more than she normally does. I decided to call our pediatrician and contact her teacher. Her teacher said no behavior changes at school, which was good to hear. She also let me know the students were meeting with group counseling once a week to talk about self esteem, good character etc. Another reason Madeline's mind is probably so focused on honesty. Her teacher consulted with their school counselor and I had a chat with her over the phone. It's normal for children to experience anxiety, we just wanted to confirm that this was just an episode or phase and not something more serious. The counselor said that Madeline's teacher said she was a bright and very hard working student. So she is probably worried about the changes at school, upcoming testing too. The counselor said the obsessing at home could be a coping mechanism, since she can't control changes at school she can control things at home like washing her hands over and over. Physically she could be starting puberty and hormonal changes too. So right now the counselor suggests just being there for her, listen to her but don't push her to talk about things, let it come out on her own. Give her comfort distractions like doing things she loves: art, reading, playing outside, going to the park, going on walks. When she gets comfortable she may be more likely to open up and talk about what's bothering or worrying her. So that's just what we'll do. The counselor is going to meet with her, and most likely this phase will pass soon. To end this emotionally fearful week, she got this note yesterday: