Category Archives: Anxiety

Information about Anxiety

Your Child & A Scar – How to Help Address Differences in Appearance

Your Child & A Scar – How to Help Address Differences in Appearance

Recently, I had a mom contact me with a specific scenario in which she needed help for her daughter. Her elementary aged child had recently had surgery and was refusing to go out in public due to her new, very visible, scar.

The young girl was worried how people would react to her new appearance with the scar.

The mom asked if I had any advice to give to help them through it. Although this was a specific request, I feel that the advice I gave could be applicable for many different situations that parents run into with their children. Here are the steps that I encouraged the mom to take:

  • First, affirm her emotions and fears surrounding the situation. I certainly understand why the young girl would be worried about her new scar and how others might react to it. Children (and adults) tend to stare when they see anything out of the “norm”, especially scars. It would be so difficult to feel as if everyone was staring at you… especially because that might be true. Let your child know that you understand why she would be feeling this way.
  • Secondly, discuss the surgery with your child (at an age appropriate level) and help her put a description of the surgery into her own words. Most often, children (and adults) are staring because they don’t understand. Your child needs to feel confident in being able to quickly summarize (in a kid-friendly way) that she went through surgery. Hopefully, her confidence will help answer any question that might come her way and then she can move on from the topic. You can even teach her what a scar actually is so that she can explain that to all of her friends. They might think it’s cool!
  • Next, demonstrate vulnerability for your child and discuss a time in which you felt self-conscious. This could even be a memory from around your child’s current age. Talk with your child about how you felt, what your fears were, and how you were able to overcome your fears and face the situation. The emphasis there should be in overcoming your fear.
  • Lastly, we want to build confidence in our children no matter what their physical appearance may be.

Check out a previous post for more information and tips on building confidence in children!

*Specific information has been changed to protect the client’s identity.

Written By: Amanda Dempsey, LAMFT

 

Stress & Heart Disease

Stress & Heart Disease

Stress can be poisonous. We’ve known that for a long time, but a recent study linked emotional stress to heart disease in a new and interesting way – via the amygdala. A team of researchers from Harvard Medical School scanned the brain, bone marrow, spleen and arteries of 300 people over the course of 4…

Defense Mechanisms & Coping Skills – Regression – Part 3

Defense Mechanisms & Coping Skills – Regression – Part 3

As I mentioned in previous blogs, defense mechanisms like denial, are unconscious responses to overwhelming stress in our lives. Although they serve an important purpose, if left unchecked, protective instincts from defense mechanisms can inhibit the development of healthier coping skills. Today, we are going to dive into the topic of regression. Nowhere is this…

Divorce: Dad or Mom left…now what?

Divorce: Dad or Mom left…now what?

Navigating divorce is difficult. There are many causes for divorce. A few of these are: Affairs Grown apart/fallen out of love Addiction Incompatible Divorce becomes even more complex when there are children involved. Many times, parents become bitter and angry towards each other and it is hard to treat each other respectfully. Even though it…

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