Since it’s summer time I’m able to spend more time with my son and seeing that two of his largest battles are anxiety and perfectionism. He’s constantly has his guard up, worrying about anything and everything, always questioning, trying to predict an outcome (what if?) of every daily event. If things do not have his envisioned outcome he gets very oppositional. He always needs to know details about everything, i.e. what we are getting at the store, what is he doing next, why are we going to the bank, etc…He also worries that he’s not good at school, he does not have enough of play dates, he’s not good enough in sports or other activities. To be honest with you, he did great in school this year, he’s an exceptional athlete and has lots of friends but not according to him.
This summer he’s spent two weeks at basketball camp but every day complained of a stomach and headache before going and always asked to be late so he did not have to do the warm-up drills. Basketball camp is now over and after a short conversation about “it’s not good to arrive late”, I now know that he did not want to do the warm-up drills in fear of not performing up to his standards (better than others). His recent stomach and headache complaints bring back memories from the school year and how many times he complained, now I know he was scared of failure in school too. And then his anxiety over not being perfect in soccer, basketball and baseball this last year and seeing himself as a failure if he did not pitch a strike, make a goal and/or basket. Wow, it’s absolutely heart breaking and I can’t even imaging how hard he works every day just going through life!
He already has anxiety over the next school year, saying it’s will be too hard. I keep on talking to him about keeping up with his math and reading skills during summer so he will not loose his current skills, but he refuses to read or do any math with me. He sees an educational therapist (same one he’s been seeing for two years now) every week to keep practicing math and reading but last week he shut down and would not do anything with her. I guess I’m kind of at a loss.
Nothing is a guaranteed cure for my son’s perfectionism and anxiety I hope creating more stress free environment at home (a challenge), find a more suitable school (working on), medication & therapy (already doing), and teching him to relax are just a few things we will continue to work on!