It was like potty training all over again. If she didn't do something the way I had envisioned it, I got angry. If she fell below the “normal” curve of what was expected in my world of parenting, I kind of freaked. I guess I felt it negatively reflected on me. Would people think I wasn't a good parent? Would they wonder why my child was still wearing diapers after the age of three, why she's five and still can't tie her shoes, or why she sits down on her scooter?
I'm sure by now you're blatantly aware, or getting sick of, my views on what it takes to accomplish a new task: hard work, patience, and discipline. (If you're not sick of it now, you most likely will be, if you continue reading Us Too). Today I realize that for some, it requires so much more. But years ago, I had no idea.
Maybe I forgot what it was like to be young, when everything was new. I know I didn't worry as much as Jordan. For kids like her, in order to learn routine life skills, confidence and bravery are also necessary. Plus the ability to stay calm and work through the frustration and fear of failure. For a kid like Kayla, when she messed up, she just tried again. Self doubt and self loathing were never an issue. For kids like Jordan, the minute the task became challenging, she pretty much saw red. Her mind kind of clogged up with frustration and panic, and she was done. She would not, or could not continue.
Back then I was positive it was because she would not. The idea that she could not, never really entered my mind. Of course she could learn to do these things. She was a capable, smart, advanced, athletic little girl. She was also a little girl who suffered from anxiety.
This anxiety was becoming somewhat of a crutch, not because of my reaction to it, but because it began to effect her confidence and willingness to try new things. Or maybe it was because of my reaction to it. I guess I'm still not 100% sure about that.
What I am sure of is I had no idea what anxiety was, or how difficult it made it for those afflicted, to try anything new.