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I am not sure what to do about this. My 2.5 year old dd has always been very clingy, very attached to me. She was really colicky as a newbie and has always been very deeply affected emotionally by what is going on around her. Now that she has great vocabulary skills and is beginning to pay more attention to the other kids, I think she may have a lot of anxiety. I am not sure what to do for her.<br><br>
When we go to playgroups, usually pretty small, or playgrounds or when we are at a store that has a train table for kids, she does ok. She has the usual issues with sharing, no big deal. But, after we leave she talks a lot about how the kids scare her and she wants to hit them. (She has never hit.) We tried a gymnastics class because she loves to jump and climb but she won't let go of my hand. The other 2 year olds are fine. I have to hold her hand and even then she is sometimes so afraid of the other kids and the unevenness of the surfaces and the large equipment, that she just cries. Also, she worries that people she found scary (older kids playing rough at the park, strange men at the store) will come to our house. She sometimes will talk about it at length.<br><br>
Is this normal behavior for 2.5? None of my other friend's 2 and 3 year olds act this way. They do occasionally cry when they cannot see mom and they have sharing issues but they are boys so they just wack each other and get in little brawls. I hate to make gender-specific comments, but it does seem like maybe this helps them get out their frustrations and anxiety and my little girl does not know how to do that.<br><br>
I am not an overly scared person and I do try to talk to her and comfort her when her worries arise. I am just not sure where she gets this.<br><br>
I just bought some hylands calms forte. Maybe that will help. Anybody have any comments? Books that might help me? If this is just a normal stage, I can deal with that and just keep away from large groups of kids. Maybe she just needs quieter, calmer activities. Maybe she needs more snuggling from me. But, on the other hand, maybe she is a nervous wreck! How can I figure it out and help her?<br><br>
Thank you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/kiss.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="kiss">
 

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I have never had a verbal 2 1/2 year old so I cannot be much help. with non-verbal babies who know why they act the way they do. But I htink the anxiety sounds very real and pretty normal. my 2 1/2 year old is likely to just hit the kid if she feels like it rather than talk through it. I would imagine the world is a pretty rfieghtening place for a kid walking between the baby world and big kid world.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>boongirl</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I am not sure what to do about this. My 2.5 year old dd has always been very clingy, very attached to me. She was really colicky as a newbie and has always been very deeply affected emotionally by what is going on around her. Now that she has great vocabulary skills and is beginning to pay more attention to the other kids, I think she may have a lot of anxiety. I am not sure what to do for her.<br><br>
Thank you! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/kiss.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="kiss"></div>
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My dd tends to be quite anxious and high strung and very tender hearted (which is why I am currently assembling backbacks of personal care items for several homeless people we pass each day). It has eased as she has gotten older but she still builds up to great levels of stress over just about anything. We use the kids yoga series for relaxation techniques and also have a childrens guided meditation book. I often use the imagery from it with her. I find relaxation techiniques are incredibly successful with her because she has a great imagination and believes all of it<br><br>
- our favourite when she is upset is:<br>
"close your eyes and imagine a soft blanket. what colour is it? (she tells me) what does it feel like? what pictures does it have on it? This blanket (I describe what she told me) is good feelings. It is my love for you. It is everything that makes you feel safe and warm. Now lets both wrap it around you."
 

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I have always been really anxious...I dont remember if I was at that young of anage but I expect so. Some of what you are describing could also be an issue with becoming overstimulated and/or sensory issues. You might research that I tend to get more anxious in crowds and have always disliked "group activities".
 

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If your mother instincts tell you that this isn’t normal, it might be a warning flag. I personally don't feel this kind of anxiety is "normal" and I wonder if she may be getting over-stimulated.
 

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I can tell you from personal experience that it's certainly possible for 2.5-year-olds to have problems with anxiety. My DD's been dealing with it her whole life (she's currently 3.5.) Aspects of it were so crippling to both her and our family that we sought counseling, and it helped. We've overcome the specific fears that made us seek counseling (extreme fear of strangers, worrying about bad guys coming to our house, crying non-stop at parent's morning out.) But she still has full-blown panic attacks, and I've yet to find much that helps with them.<br><br>
Our counselor said it's probably hereditary in our case, since I sought counseling for panic attacks when I was in college, and my DH quit his piano career because of stage fright. Our counselor used to teach preschool, and she said anxiety certainly does happen with tiny kids, but it's not often diagnosed before the kid has problems with it in grade school. Our goal is to help our daughter learn coping mechanisms before she gets to grade school.<br><br>
ceilydhmama, would you mind sharing the titles of your yoga tapes and meditation book? I've been thinking of signing DD up for a children's yoga class, and I'd love to be able to help her meditate, because our breathing exercises just aren't doing it for us at this point.<br><br>
Boongirl, please let us know if anything you try works for your DD.<br><br>
Best,
 

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The book is "Earth Light - New Meditations for Children" by Maureen Garth.<br><br>
The Yoga dvd's are the "Yoga Kids" series by Gaiam. Our fav is "Silly to Calm" it also works from anxious to calm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is all great advice. I think we, too, are dealing with inherited anxiety. The yoga and meditation are great ideas. I am going to try that because it works really well for me so it might also be great for dd. I also think spending more time doing quiet activities is probably a good idea. That will address the overstimulation possibility.<br><br>
Auntni - not to get too personal, but you did you tell that you needed to get your child into counseling? Also, is your child in preschool? How is she doing? Any other tips for helping calm her in group situations. Sidenote: How lucky you are to find a counselor that is a former preschool teacher. Perfect!<br><br>
Has anyone tried the Hyland's Calm Forte homeopathic remedy for kids?<br><br><br><br><span>Update!</span>I found the dvd at our library and put it on reserve. Yeah!
 

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Thanks for the dvd title - I just put it on my request list at our library, too!<br><br>
Boongirl, we have a program in Missouri (actually, it's nationwide, but it's really big in Missouri) called Parents As Teachers. It's funded by the school district, but all kids 0-3 can participate. A "parent educator" comes for 4 home visits a year, to give parents pointers on early childhood education. They give handouts on development, teach some cool games, and also screen for developmental issues. I think most parent educators are education majors, but mine happened to have a background in childhood counseling. When my DD was around 2, our PE gently suggested to me that her panic attacks might not be normal. Her boss referred us to our family counselor (and yes, it was incredibly lucky she used to be a preschool teacher!) My DD never went with us - only my DH and I attended counseling, because the counselor said that would just introduce something else for DD to be scared of. We just talked to our counselor about DD's behavior, and she gave us concrete things to try. I found it really hard at first to encourage my DD to confront her fears about things, but once she overcomes her panic, she's so incredibly proud that she's gotten over that particular fear.<br><br>
She just started preschool in September, and it's going great! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bouncy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bouncy"> She's only had one panic attack at preschool (when firefighters came to talk to them about what to do if there's a fire at home,) but other than that, it's been great. Unfortunately, I don't have any luck calming DD in group situations, either. If she has a panic attack in public, we have to retire to a quiet corner to calm her down. Then she needs some quiet time to recover. Although it's a bummer she inherited panic attacks from me, at least I can empathize with her about how scary and draining they are.<br><br>
Please feel free to email me if you'd like to talk more.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Has anyone tried the Hyland's Calm Forte homeopathic remedy for kids?<br><br><br><br><span>Update!</span>I found the dvd at our library and put it on reserve. Yeah!</div>
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Enjoy the yoga - it is nicely done<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Yes to the calms - btw We used it with limited success. I had better results with rescue remedy - mainly I think because I used to be bad at catching the early signs and dd would practically be hyperventilating and obsessing by the time I intervened...<br><br>
I think two things have changed - I have learned better steps for preparing her for situations and she has learned how to calm herself and will leave situations that stress her out.<br><br>
Btw I'm curious how many of our anxious children were easily over stimulated babies? My dd would startle very easily at loud noises and seemed to 'overload' in situations other babies were just fine in.<br><br>
Also do any of the other kids get physical signs of stress? My dd gets headaches and stomach aches and they seem to have a stress componant. Both have decreased as we have concentrated on de-stressing activites.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>ceilydhmama</strong></div>
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Btw I'm curious how many of our anxious children were easily over stimulated babies? My dd would startle very easily at loud noises and seemed to 'overload' in situations other babies were just fine in.</div>
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Mine was! Boy was she ever. And she had the startle reflex very bad until about 6 or 8 months old. She had to sleep in her car seat, a peg perego (very tight compared to most) because otherwise any slight movement would startle her awake. And, she did not like being in places like the grocery store since it was very bright and had lots of loud noises.<br><br>
AuntNi - you're story has made me think about talking to a family counselor I know, on my own, about dd's anxiety. Thanks for the story.<br><br>
Kathy
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
PS: Found the website and emailed to get info about programs in my area.<br><br><br><a href="http://www.parentsasteachers.org" target="_blank">http://www.parentsasteachers.org</a>
 

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My five year old suffers from anxiety, and we began counseling in June when it became absolutely debilitating. He has definitely displayed signs since the age of 2.5 and was also an extremely verbal toddler. His earliest expressed fear was that of me dying; that obsession hung around for about 6 months from age 2.5-3 or so, and he would cry to sleep (with me by his side) every night. I didn't realize it was such a big problem until all the other anxiety sympotoms flared up a year later. He started obsessively going to the bathroom to pee, but nothing ever came out...I guess he was just checking. Then, he started to worry about poison, and that fear was accompanied with his telling me everything he touched ALL day long, to make sure it was okay...the list goes on and on. We were dysfunctional for a while, and he is now FINE! Goes happily to kindergarten, after school activities like soccer, no expressed worry since September! I expect that it will come and go throughout his childhood or maybe his whole life, but as long as we can put it in it's place, he will be fine.<br><br>
Yes, he was a sensitive, high needs baby and remains very intelligent, super- sensitive (emotionally as well as physically) and just an all around intense little boy.
 

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my dd was a very sensitive 2-3 year old - she clung to me like a leech and was frightened of anything new, unusual,different<br><br>
she was totally unlike others her age<br>
but now she is confident and a strong little thing<br><br>
I think she was just sensitive and easily over stimulated. I am kind of the same way myself so I understood why she was so frightened by things. I think she has now learned how to deal with other children and to a certain extent other adults.<br>
I would give it some time. she is still so very young. you say you were not like this yourself so try to respect that she is different from you and not push her too much.<br>
making it into a problem at this age would, I feel, be a bit premature.........
 
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