Please ramble, Ragana. I need it. Maybe we all need it.
I, too, think I've transmitted my anxieties to my daughter. However, my anxiety manifests itself as irritation, anger, and so it feels strong and powerful when in fact it is incredibly weak. I have a very leaky vessel for containing reassurances that others offer me, I've discovered.
I can trace much of my daughter's anxiety back to a bad nursing match. I had flat nipples, she had an overbite and very weak muscles. I didn't realize how bad it was until my younger daughter latched on for the first time and --yowza!-- this is what nursing should feel like! Maybe I should have pumped and bottle fed her, but I didn't. Plus, my arms were too short, my breasts too large, and my let down was gargantuan, poor girl. Couple that with a genetic tendency towards nervousness, and today is no surprise. Plus, when I am stressed I want to retreat to the darkest, quietest place and my kids want to follow me and glom on.
Now I'm rambling.
As a homeschooling family, I can say that I'm glad not to have school to add to our anxieties, which I think it would. It is not free of problems-- are there no 10-12yo girls around??? Sheesh! It can be hard to reassure an anxious kid that it's ok to have strengths and weaknesses when you have this ominous report card. The best I could do (because I do consider schooling sometimes) is to play down the report card as much as possible. But schools cultivate this kind of pressure, and adulthood for school kids is forever looming, though they are ostensibly "being prepared" for the eventuality, as if adulthood is so complicated we need to cloister our kids for 16+ years to prepare for it.
I'm not trashing schools just to vent. I'm really framing this in a way that we can see how anxious kids might view the experience and how difficult our jobs are as parents to balance that pressure with other, perhaps even more important things.
As far as sharing my anxieties, I have to proceed with care. For my daughter, it makes it much worse. Probably the hallmark of this is being anxious about anxiety, and that's what happens with my daughter. (It doesn't happen with me so much, which makes me think my problems are not strictly anxiety.) I sometimes even regret giving my daughter a name for what she is experiencing, because I think she is suddenly focusing on that. But I reassure myself (yes, "reassure") that she is playing around with this new word she has to define her feelings, and it can sometimes tip a little too far in a negative direction. But I think once the newness wears off, she will see it less as one more thing to worry about, because she does worry about the feeling, even before she had the word to define it.
Back to reassurances, because this is important. The characteristic that is most aligned with anxiety for me is the inability for having reassurances actually reassure me with things I am worried about. Reassurances, using logic to help soothe feelings does not work for me. What does work is commiseration from someone who is deep in it themselves and who has managed to function with it-- not conquer it, but function. One of the most useful things was, besides acknowledging and accommodating my needs without judgment, is learning from someone who has "been there" to prioritize my anxieties. Which ones are the most important to focus on improving *right now*.
It is not perfect because what seems less important to me one day becomes something I cannot ignore the next, and I don't know the mechanism behind that. The fact is, I will never escape this. This is how I will be, basically, for the rest of my life. I need strategies to calm it. My daughter needs strategies to calm herself, to know herself, to be brave enough to ask for what she needs and to seek people that help reinforce her positive qualities rather than the negative.
"She is a mermaid, but approach her with caution. Her mind swims at a depth most would drown in."