When you worry about a worrier

My oldest child is a worrier. Yes, I know that it’s common for the oldest to take responsibility on, but this is a bit extreme. He worries about things that most children should never even think about – paying bills, ensuring that the cattle are safe, listening to the news, etc.

In fact, just last week we had a discussion that really opened my eyes to his level of concern – he wanted to know about the selective service process, when he needed to start signing up and his likelihood of being drafted. He’s 12.

My oldest son...he has the kindest old soul.

My oldest son…he has the kindest old soul.

I’m guessing that there was a conversation about this topic through health class. I am grateful that he comes to me with his concerns, but I wonder how long he let it bother him before he finally broke down and asked his questions. He sometimes has a hard time sleeping because his head is so full of questions.

I have no desire to change who he is as a person. And I am most certain that his worrying has not reached a level of needing medication. It’s not that he’s incapable of concentrating on anything else when he’s worried…it’s just a distraction.

An idea hit me on Sunday afternoon that I thought may work for him. In fact, I had read about it in a fiction book, but at the time it didn’t occur to me that it may help my son. But now I think it may be just the ticket.

In this particular story (sorry, I cannot remember the name of the book), the character worried about a lot of things. In order for her mind to rest, she would right down the problem, then write down the potential solutions. Nothing was too outrageous to write down. And finding a solution also gave her an outlet to research the problem. She was able to focus better, because she had an immediate source to go to with any problem that she encountered. And she didn’t spend so much time worrying about the “what-if’s.”

And I think this could work beautifully for my son. A journal of sorts. Yet he’d be able to write down the answers to his questions.

Maybe I can help him spend more time enjoying the little things...we all need to do that.

Maybe I can help him spend more time enjoying the little things…we all need to do that.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes. I’m pretty excited to try this out and see if it works. And I think he is, too.

I never in a million years thought that as a mother I would have to worry about my son’s tendency to worry. But I’m willing to help him in any way possible – because that’s just what mothers do.

I’m there for him. And that’s one thing he’ll never have to worry about.

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Why I beat my kids…

Put down the phone. Seriously. It’s not what you think, I promise.

Let me explain…

Yesterday, while picking George up from daycare, I noticed someone watching our exit. As I thought about what they had seen, I figured they were picking me out as the worst mommy in the place, but I was actually trying hard not to be. Really hard.

Almost every day that George goes to daycare, we race to the door. And every night that I pick him up, we race to the suburban. And to tell you the truth, about half of the time…I beat him.

Terrible, right?

Except not.

At the tender age of 4, my son is learning that Mom doesn’t always have to protect him from everything. That he’s responsible for his own wins and losses. That he can lose gracefully and still love the person you lose to. Of course, he just thinks he’s having fun.

And the same is true at home. We win some games, we lose some games, fits are not allowed, but good sportsmanship is mandatory. Is it hard to lose? Certainly (especially to your mom), but it’s a lesson that we don’t teach often enough these days.

It’s time that we stop telling our children that there is nothing they can’t do…because, truly, there are things they can’t do…at least, not right away. And if you never have to strive towards a goal and work hard, then what’s the value of winning?

Being an adult is hard…but having to become an adult and never having to stand on your own would be harder yet. So let’s spend a little less time making sure everyone has a trophy, and a little more time making sure that everyone is learning something.

And to the lady who may have thought I was off my rocker yesterday…yes, I was racing a 4-year-old, and yes, I won. But Mom needed a little boost to her self-esteem, too. 😉

My prize? The biggest smile and a great big kiss from the cutest 4-year-old I know. I’d do it again in a second.

Teaching our children includes teaching them how to lose, not just win.

Teaching our children includes teaching them how to lose, not just win. And when the prize includes a smile like this, that can melt your heart, well, you better believe that I give it my all!