Q & A: What's your advice for young moms?
Get help early.
We are all inevitably going to run into snags, hiccups, and even crises in our marriages and parenting. We're in denial if we think we aren't. The question isn't if they'll occur, it's how we'll do with them.
I was reminded the other day of the importance of getting help early.
A young mom called me whose son was experiencing pretty intense panic attacks. I asked her how many he's had, and she said three. "Is it too early to get help for them?" she asked.
Not remotely. Actually, in my experience panic attacks are both cyclical and exponentially cumulative. Because part of the process can include getting panicky about panic, the longer this goes on the harder it can be to change. In my opinion, a kid who has had six panic attacks might be five times harder to treat than a kid who's had three. A kid who has had twelve might be fifty times harder to treat, not four times. Impossible? Never. I think there are several really effective treatment strategies out there and it's never too late.
But the key is getting treatment, finding out what they are, working on it. And I can't say enough about starting early. It will make your life so much easier because it wont take forever to fix. And this concept is true in so many areas other than panic attacks. Patterns of misbehavior? Yes. Kid acting depressed or discouraged? Yes. Worried about your kid's self image? Yes.
There's no wrong reason to seek help, and no wrong time. Ask around to find out who are great therapists in your area. If you are worried about cost, see if you can find someone your health insurance will cover, or who has a sliding scale or might even see you pro bono. Let's not let anything get in the way of getting our kids the help they need, when they need it.
WLN Divisional Coordinator|Midwest Division
Regional Training Coordinator|Eastern Great Lakes Region