Every parent's security blanket & instruction manual
As everyone is well aware, this 9/11 is the tenth anniversary of the attacks on September 11th, 2001. There is concern that there may be reprisals on this day and, even if that is not a concern, there will certainly be a heightened anxiety within our general culture and probably within most families as this day approaches. There is a lot to feel around this time-some may be anxious, some sad or angry or disappointed.
Young children absorb general anxiety and intense feelings within a culture and anxiety and intense feelings within a family. It is important to be aware that for several days before Sunday September 11, that Thursday and Friday and Saturday you might see more signs of disequilibrium in your child because of their sensitivity to the general anxiety. On these days and on 9/11, your child may cry more easily, have a lower tolerance for frustration, experience more separation anxiety, engage in more power struggles, be more aggressive, be more clingy, have sleep issues, and be generally off-kilter. It is important that we are aware of the context of this behavior and that we bring additional compassion to our children and ourselves at this time.
Some guidelines as 9/11 approaches:
- Keep to the usual schedule
- Plan low-key activities-these can be anchors to help ground all of us
- Monitor tv time so that young children are not exposed to disturbing images or conversation
- Anticipate that you and your child may be worried/sad, etc. and that these feelings may be transferred onto a person or activity seemingly unrelated to 9/11
- Be gentle with your child and yourself
- See iBlankie articles/apps on Separation Anxiety for additional help for your child's anxiety.
© Irene Shere, LLC