Wednesday, October 1, 2008

If your little apple doesn't fall far from the tree

then your family is probably like mine: you are not the only one who struggles with moods and emotions. Odds are that one of your kids does too.

In our family it is our oldest (5 years old) who has struggles. She has a lot of anxiety and spends a fair amount of time trying to manage it. She has a therapist (you all know how much I LOVE therapy) and we have seen some good results there. However, since she is so young we have to spend a lot of time at home going over (and over and over and over!) the concepts she learned in therapy. There is a lot that I have to remember for her and help her do. Some days it's pretty hard.

Thankfully, I recently found some books that have proved helpful: What to do When I Worry Too Much (overcoming anxiety) and What To Do When I Grumble Too Much (overcoming negativity). I came across a these books at Parentbooks and we have started using them as Family Home Evening Lessons. Our whole family benefits from practicing the concepts in them and the books make it easy to explain cognitive behavioral therapy ideas to small kids.

These books are written by a child psychologist and there are a whole bunch of titles in the series--covering things from bad habits to OCD to anger issues--many of which are available used and new at Amazon. So if you have kids whose emotions take a lot of energy to regulate and you'd like them to learn a little self-mastery these could be a great place to start!

Oh, and good luck!
And, you are not alone! (Michael McLean doesn't technically own that phrase, right?)
And, remember: we're aiming for progress not perfection :)

11 comments:

Maryam said...

Wonderful. Good job Laura!

mom of boys said...

I just found your blog when I was looking under "depression". Sometimes when I'm reading a blog for the first time, I like to go to the very first post. Well, I read your first post and just wanted to say that I loved the way you described depression. It is exactly how I feel. I'm not sad, I'm disconnected. It is like sleepwalking, like things happening at a distance. So, thanks, I guess, for putting it in words for me.

Charlotte said...

Love it, Laura! You are such a blessing to your kids. I know that you are helping your oldest learn now how to manage her emotions and it will only help her later on in life. Kudos:)

Laura said...

mom of boys: thanks for stopping by! And thanks for going back and reading my first post--it's one of my favorites :) I hope you'll continue to stop by and share your experiences here. We all need each other!

Maryam and Charlotte--thanks for the support. You guys are awesome!

Elizabeth-W said...

This is fantastic. I love books that gear those concepts to really young kids.

Tracie said...

Laura,

Wow! What an accomplishment to be able to deal with your depression while helping your daughter deal with hers at the same time. More than I can handle during those moments when I'm struggling with depression.

I found your blog via other LDS blogs I was reading today and just wanted to let you know how much I admire you for admitting openly you're depressed as not all of us can do that. I always try and make myself look good on the outside so no one knows on the inside I'm dieing so I admire someone who can do what I am unable to. Thanks for the inspiration.

Tracie

Lura said...

Thanks! I hope to find the book on anger because my oldest has a HARD time with controlling his anger. Half the time I don't even know what he's angry about. I've actually thought about therapy for him (and maybe me because my relationship with him is so strained), but don't know where to start.

Laura said...

Lura--CBT techniques might be a bit advanced for your little one. The age range on the books is 6-11--so even my daughter is a little young. It never hurts to try though! A few others you might consider: for you, _Raising Your Spirited Child_ (it has good tips on how to help kids teach kids to calm down); for your little one try _When Sophie Gets Angry_ (and talk with your child about what Sophie does and what your child does and how he can make choices with is emotions) and Little Critter's _I Was So Mad_ by Mercer Mayer(sometimes it helps take the intensity down for kids if they see that anger is part of life). With prayer and diligence you'll find the thing that works for you! Good luck :)

Laura said...

Tracie--thanks for stopping by. I hope you will come back and offer us your insights! Depression is hard but we find strength in each other and in telling our own stories. Feel free to share yours here!

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog, and I'm enjoying reading your posts. I also wanted to put in a good word for a book called 'The Explosive Child' by Ross W. Greene. It was recommended at an Enrichment night, and since I am currently struggling with my 4 year old daughter - (who is also in therapy) I decided to give it a try. It is very validating for those of us whose kids have STRONG wills, and struggle to express their emotions because they feel larger than life.
-Rebecca

Laura said...

Rebecca--thanks for the recommendation! I'm addicted to parenting books (I've read more than I can count). _The Explosive Child_ is definitely on my reading list now.