Sunday, July 30, 2023

7 Quick Takes about First World Problems, Calming a Kid's Fears , and The Key to Working Out with Confidence

It's 7 Quick Takes... Sunday! Better late than never, I guess.


Sitting down to write this 7 Quick Takes was pretty hard. So much of what I do centers around my church life right now: planning and thinking about the needs of the Young Women I lead at church, volunteering in the temple, and helping friends through church assignments with various needs they have at home. It's immensely fulfilling, but it's not terribly interesting to talk about.

In fact, it reminds me a little of the days when you have babies and toddlers at home. You're so crazy busy you don't have time to clean the house or even sleep properly. But when someone asks what you did all day, you realize you have no idea. 

You just know that all the unglamorous work you put into helping and loving the people around you was totally worth it... whatever it was.


I dropped my 19-year-old off to at the theater to see the Barbie movie with her friend, and it was funny to be able to see from the parking lot exactly what people were going to see what movie. There was pink everywhere.

I asked my daughter afterward if I would like the movie and she said, "Probably not." I didn't have time to ask for more details, but she's most likely right. I keep seeing America Fererra's big speech from Barbie floating around on Facebook and my eyes are about to roll out of my head. 

In planning an upcoming week of The Educational Summer Vacation, I just read about a specific law that had to be passed in Pakistan in 2011 to address the problem of men throwing acid in women's faces who displeased them... if one of those female survivors want to tell me how "it's literally impossible to be a woman" I'm willing to listen. But when it comes from someone with a net worth of $16 million, it just sounds like toddler whining.


My 9-year-old is suddenly getting very nervous about everything. Nothing specific sets him off, but he'll randomly start worrying about an upcoming swim meet or starting school in the fall, and he gets so worked up about it that sometimes he actually throws up. (This is the same kid we have to struggle to get to eat enough in the first place, so it's doubly concerning when he does that.)

We've tried listening to his concerns, we've tried breathing exercises, we've tried visualizing how upcoming events will go, we've tried distracting him, all with little success. Any advice from other anxious kids' parents out there?


This summer has been very rainy. My 11-year-old finally attended a pool party that had to be rescheduled twice because of the weather. On the other hand, our grass (which is usually a pathetic shade of tan by this point in the summer) looks amazing.

Not our yard, but a hike where we briefly paused to appreciate all the green before running from cover for the mosquitoes that were eating us alive.


My family got a gym membership for the summer. My 7- and 9-year-olds love to run on the treadmill and use the stairstepper, to the amusement of whoever else happens to be in the cardio room at the time.

I usually supervise the kids or play with them on a free basketball court when we visit the gym, but last time I went to the weight room with my daughter. It was full of fit guys in their late teens and 20s, and once upon a time I would have probably felt very intimidated to be in there.

As a 40-year-old mom, though, it was very liberating to not care in the slightest. I've given birth in front of so many nurses, doctors, residents, and possibly janitors (I was too busy at the time to notice who was in the room), I'm not embarrassed to struggle with a 55-lb barbell in front of you guys.


There are so many competing schedules for work and sports and church activities that the entire family doesn't often eat together at the same time, but one day all 6 kids and I were eating lunch together. 

When I think about how they're all mine it's a little surreal, especially as they get older and each of them are bigger and take up more space. With a grin I said to them, "I made everyone at this table, you know."

My 19-year-old made a horrified face, gasped, and yelled, "WHAT?! You told me I was adopted!"


I saw this on Facebook, and it made me smile. Little kids are savage, but they do it so sweetly that it doesn't even hurt your feelings.

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mbmom11 said...

For your anxious child, have you talked to a medical professional? It sounds like you have tried all the good techniques that haven't helped. Getting some input from a PCP to get a referral for a counselor or appropriate medication might lead to improvement. I know meds might seem unnecessary, but treating this now and getting him to a better place can help prevent worse issues in the future. ( My son who always had some anxiety hit high school and crashed. If we had followed up some of the concerns earlier, we might have avoided some very unhappy times for him. ) Also , try to trace back and figure out when this all started. Maybe if you recognize what really triggered this anxiety it can help you approach helping him. ( Maybe something at school or his siblings' travel issues? He might gave taken those to heart.
As for being busy with so much but having very little exciting ro show for it, so true. But it also means nothing bad or inconvenient happened, so view it as a win!

Diana Dye said...

As a recovering anxious kid (stomach aches, missing school, avoiding situations), what helped me the most was going through the "what if" scenarios and talking about what I would do if the terrible thing I imagined actually happened. My mom would say, okay, what if that did happen? Then we would talk about how we would handle it together, how the adults in my life would help me handle it. I still do this exercise as an adult. What's the worst that could happen and how would I handle it? Everything is figure-outable. You're probably already doing something similar but it is a very effective and empowering technique.

Roya said...

I, too, have an anxious kiddo. She’s 11 and about to go into Middle School. She is very much a what-if/worst case scenario thinker. Things I’ve found that have helped her are talking with me, journaling (I bought a specific one geared towards anxiety and growth mindset for children), reading specific Bible verses pertaining to fear (I’ve highlighted them in her Bible), and getting her a fidget ring. All of these have helped tremendously. I also have her on a wait list for a therapist that she can talk with once a month. Learning healthy coping skills at a young age will benefit kids for a lifetime. I hope your son finds relief soon! My mom told me something very wise, once. God does not give us grace for the what-if’s in life. He gives us grace for what is.