It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Give-away: Growing Up Brave

I am so happy about Poppy!

She is arriving, not just cheerful, but buoyant. If I’m not reading too much into a two-year-old’s psyche, it’s as if she knows she’s overcome a personal hurdle, and is psyched! Or maybe she’s just that happy not to be frightened any more. Or maybe this is just Poppy being Poppy. She’s a cutie, that one.

The point is, four weeks after NBG’s advent into the daycare, and after three weeks of focussed effort, Poppy is happy again. No more anxiety, no more demanding the escape of naps, no more tears when NBG cries, no more clinging to me, or, when that’s not available to her, hiding in corners.

(If you haven’t read the other posts, the context for all this celebration is here, here, and here.)

She does still cover her eyes when NBG cries. She does not cower in terror or try to flee upstairs to her nap room. And, increasingly? If the tears are not too loud and alarming, she will express concern for the baby. “Aw, she is sad. Poor baby!” Express concern and even come near enough to touch her, to give her a pat on the head. “Poor baby!”

This is huge! And how did we get there? Not through my own instincts and experience. This one had me thrown. I know, because I’ve seen it before and I couldn’t make it work. No, this time I needed help, and I found it in the form of the book I kept citing, Growing Up Brave.

There I learned that Poppy’s “naps” (and Lily’s before her, had I but known) were not a transitional strategy, but an avoidance strategy … which explained why they weren’t helping at all. There I learned the idea of exposure therapy: the only way to learn to deal with the thing that scares you … is to deal with the thing that scares you! But not cold turkey. We’re not throwing the kid off the dock to teach her to swim. No, because Growing Up Brave also taught me the idea of the Bravery Ladder, incremental steps to a larger goal.

With those bits of information in place, with some persistence, encouragement, and loving hardass-ness, Poppy did it! We did it!

If you have a child, or know a child, who struggles with anxiety, I strongly recommend this book. You know what? The publisher (Little, Brown and Company) has three copies to give away to you, my lovely readers, so I am hosting a give-away!

The giveaway will be open until Friday, October 5 at noon EST, and I’ll choose the winners with the highly scientific and time-tested method of drawing names out of a hat. I’ll then contact the three winners privately for your addresses, so that the publisher can send your copy directly to you.

Oops: Update: Two points I didn’t mention, but commenters showed me I should have: 1> You participate simply by posting a comment! and 2> Only the US and Canada, sorry!
Good luck!

October 2, 2012 Posted by | books, Poppy | , , | 48 Comments