Parenting a Child With Anxiety

ACMB is gladly partnering with Be A Hero to share information about their mental health services. This is a sponsored post. 

Anxiety came angrily crashing into my family’s life one May night. My husband and I left our two children with some good friends so we could attend an event. The event ran longer than expected, and our 10-year-old, in the 18 minutes between the time we had told her we’d be home and the time we checked our phones (to see 15 missed calls and texts from our friend’s phone), had become hysterical and certain that we had perished in a fatal accident. My child was inexplicably convinced she had just become an orphan.

This jarring, illogical, and bewildering moment instantly threw our daughter into full-blown anxiety. The days and weeks that followed brought tears with each drop-off at school, as real fears of me or my husband perishing in a car wreck during the school day took over my once happy child’s mind. Panic attacks and frantic tears came every few days. The anxiety also caused stomach upset and digestive issues and started to turn my previously content and healthy tween into a physically weak and and mentally troubled child that left us heartbroken, confused, and helpless. 

My husband and I were at a complete loss. Neither of us has personally battled this type of anxiety, and we quickly realized we had no idea how to handle our child’s irrational fears and spiraling thoughts. Saying “just calm down” or “just don’t think about it” produced tears or anger. The days were dark, and I was filled with fear, guilt, and doubt. Was this something I caused? Was my beloved child ever going to get better? Why couldn’t I help her find a way out of this spiraling anxiety and worry?  

I’m beyond lucky to be a part of ACMB, a team of very honest and open women, many of whom have shared their own experiences with anxiety on this site or in conversations. I reached out to our team, crying and with shaky fingers as I typed, and in less than an hour, had multiple recommendations of therapists, books, and coping techniques. I sat in my bed that night, looking at the outpouring of love, support, and resources filling up my computer screen though tears, feeling hopeful and less alone than I had felt in weeks. Finally I had found some tangible things we could do to help our child. 

We started therapy and, slowly, felt like our daughter might be able to find her way out of this dark hole. It took several sessions and hard work for both parent and child. It wasn’t cheap. But it worked. And, wonderfully, it has kept working.

Anxiety, as our family is learning, isn’t something that can be cured. It’s not an infection; it’s a condition. Anxiety is something you learn to manage, just like you might learn to manage asthma or a food allergy. There are triggers, flare-ups, and calm stretches. There are good days and bad days. But, for us, with the help of therapy and coping techniques, the good days are far outweighing the bad days.

I know my child may struggle with anxiety throughout her life. It can be triggered by hormonal changes, major life events, health, and other factors. Many adults with anxiety recognize that, when looking back, they had it at various seasons as children, even if they didn’t realize it at the time. We sought therapy to quickly destigmatize “seeing a therapist” and wanted our child to view therapy as a first line of defense when anxiety starts to interfere with daily life. 

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Alamo City Moms Blog is grateful to be partnering with Be A Hero to shed light on mental health and share information about Be A Hero’s concierge mental health services. 

Be A Hero, founded by San Antonio’s own Amanda Koplin, is a 24/7 mental health provider for both children and adults. Koplin is passionate about taking away the barriers that prevent people from both seeking mental health treatment and implementing treatment plans. By bringing therapists and specialists to the house, patients are able to talk freely and comfortably in their own home. 

When working with Be A Hero, each patient has a Concierge Mental Health Treatment Team and a tailored and customized plan created uniquely for him/her. Treatment Teams often include in-home coaches who can be with a patient between one to 24 hours a day to help implement and maintain new habits and skills. 

Be A Hero’s mission is to “empower individuals and change communities by providing people who are struggling with mental health conditions with the means and tools it takes to establish independence, resilience, confidence, leadership, and promote qualities which enable them to thrive.” They accomplish this by customizing every treatment plan to meet the individual needs of their clients and clients’ families within their own environment. According to their mission statement, “Be A Hero constantly seeks to fill the gap between treatment centers, offices, and real life.”

For more information on Be A Hero, check out their website and their Facebook page or call (210) 502-7222.   

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