I think my daughter is stressing too much

When my daughter is stressed about a silly thing from school, she starts crying and freaking out. She is a bright student, always has a 4.0, but I am afraid she is stressing too much. I’m afraid it’s going to break her. I don't know if I should get her to a doctor or someone because this is not normal.

Marci Warren
Marci Warren
Whole Wellness Counseling

I hear your concern that your daughter might break under the pressure and stress that she is dealing with.  It is a good thing that your high achieving daughter is calling out for help and that you are listening.  The education system is wrought with social and emotional problems, and there is a disproportionate emphasis on test taking, scores and achievement in school.   It sounds like your daughter would benefit from some social and emotional education and learning to understand how her feelings are impacting her thoughts and behaviors.  

I'd like to also assure you that crying and freaking out is a normal part of growing up.  Depending on your daughter's age, it is likely that she is going through a growth spurt and she may be feeling her feelings in a unique way to her too.  If this is the first time you are having a concern about anxiety then rest at ease and see if you can ride the emotions with her and be a stable sounding board for her.   Use empathy and compassion and allow her a safe place to process through her concerns.  Try not to solve it for her, but allow her a space to fumble through and find her own answers to the problems she is faced with.  Give her confidence that she can figure it out, and be patient as you sit with her.  Our presence is key to our children's well being.   Make eye contact with her, allow her to squirm and get frustrated and work through it while you witness her process.  As parents, when we can model calm in the storm of life our children learn that all of their feelings are ok too.  When our children see and feel our fear, it can create more insecurity and low self evaluation of their own efficacy to manage the stress.  When we can be calm and reassuring, then we can boost their confidence in their own ability to problem solve what they are going through.  Let's face it we all have irrational thinking from time to time, and usually it is when we are under stress.  

If your daughter continues to show concerning anxiety, check with her school and see if she can benefit from an opportunity with the social emotional learning curriculum.  In Texas at least, schools are required to have resources for children like your daughter who are experiencing anxiety and other mental health concerns.  Her teacher is with her all day and you may request to have a conference with her to see if she can help her in any way as well.  If resources in your school are limited then I would seek an outside therapist who specializes in working with children your daughter's age.  Call around and see if she can benefit from a therapeutic relationship outside of school and home.  Once you have plenty of feedback from her teacher and a therapist or counselor then you will be able to determine if seeking medical care is necessary with their support and guidance.  Thank you for your courage to reach out for help on behalf of your daughter.  You are her greatest advocate.  I hope that you find support to help you navigate this time in her life and that you both grow and learn from this experience.  

The information above is intended as general information...  (more)The information above is intended as general information based on minimal information, and does not constitute health care advice. This information does not constitute communication with a counselor/therapist nor does it create a therapist-client relationship nor any of the privileges that relationship may provide. If you are currently feeling suicidal or are in crisis, call 911 or proceed to your local emergency room.

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