Where to start? My son is behind in math. He considers math his nemesis. We are working on changing his perception and his study practices, but for a kid with anxiety it’s a slow process.
Chunking It Down
Despite his 504 plan, his teacher’s expectations were overwhelming him (and us). He was so overwhelmed that he couldn’t calm down enough to put the pencil to the page and even start the process of catching up. It was causing a lot of unnecessary drama at home. We had to advocate for him and chunk it way down. Thirty minutes a day of concerted effort on problems he can solve. Let’s start there. Then he’ll gain the confidence to add more. He’ll move from feeling incapable to feeling gratitude for what he is capable of. Thankfully, the school is on board with this plan and they are going above and beyond to get him the testing and services he needs to succeed.
What Looms Large?
Math looms large and although my son is very capable in other subject, those subjects are suffering too. Math makes up most of the homework assigned in middle school and because he can’t get past the profuse packets, he falls behind in other classes.
I know many of us can relate to the anxiety of standing in the middle of whatever mental or physical space we’re in while thinking, ‘this is overwhelming, where do I start?’ What looms large in your life?
Let Go of Unnecessary Burdens
In my journey forward, I’ve learned to let go of unnecessary burdens and break down the necessary ones. It’s amazing what we pile on ourselves. I had a lot of perceived obligations and expectations that I ultimately found weren’t essential to my well-being or my family’s.
I do what I can, when I can, and when I start to meltdown, I stop. I take time to replenish and then I find I’m ready and capable of moving forward. Sometimes I’m even able to accomplish more than I thought I could, and that is a wonderful feeling!
It also makes me incredibly grateful for the resources I’ve tapped into, both within myself and in my community. I’ve struggled with anxiety for most of my life. I remember having my first panic attack when I was eight. My son has been diagnosed with anxiety as well. We have to work a little harder to cope and we have to chunk things down so they don’t overwhelm us. Sometimes we have to make accommodations. And it’s ok. Because, when we do…. we are capable of so much more.