I wanted to reach out to parents of both kids and teens in our classes to see if you have noticed the following;
This is something we are noticing in a handful of our students including our regular students and extension students as well.
As the Covid19 crisis grows in its impact, attending regular school (or acting classes) seems like it could be six months away. So, understanding this ANXIETY is very important for the wellbeing of our children’s mental health, as well as their development educationally.
There can be many reasons for feelings of anxiety, but the commonality of everyone that has chatted to us about a discomfort of online platforms, has led to one similarity: all of them have been highly empathic.
Someone who is empathic feels what others feel. So, while most people have this skill, empathic people have it ramped up so that it is almost like a superpower.
Most people rely mainly on what they see and hear when interacting with others, empathic people rely on how they feel.
This skill can be born out of a fear developed in early childhood, potentially a way to make sure there is no threat ahead when meeting individuals or groups. Some children are also naturally more sensitive and empathic than others.
The issue here is that the feeling to run away from the platform is caused by High Beta waves in the brain, caused by the anxiety of having their ability to read people taken away. This means they have three choices; flight, fight or freeze.
Anyone in a high Beta state can’t be reasoned with and completely lose the ability to problem solve. Which is challenging when all you want to so is bring logic to the problem.
The good news is the solution is as simple as changing the thought that is causing the distress (ie fear of being online) by asking questions about non related subjects in an area you know they are interested in. The more interested they are in the topic you are asking about, the quicker they will drop the High Beta thoughts.
Once they are out of a High Beta state, a harmony zone is created. From here you can discuss what the anxiety is caused by and help find a resolution. If they become distressed again, change the subject to an area of interest until they are calm again.
Some steps that may help are: ask them what they think is causing the issue. Depending on the response you may chat with them about how some people experience relating online differently to relating in person. It may take some time for them to develop new skills to be able to see and recognise the cues of how others are feeling online.
From there, strategies can be developed to get online and learn in this platform. We can even arrange a 1:1 session to build confidence in the platform itself.
Also talk to your child's coaches, from your school or activity and alert them to this, and generally (certainly in the case of the academy) they will be grateful at the opportunity to find solutions.
It can also be good to share with your child that attending and mastering online learning can be a great opportunity to actually heighten the skills for already advanced empathic kids.
In an online platform they will soon adapt and develop skills to look for micro tells, a glinting of an eye, a twitch of an eyebrow, a relaxed mouth versus pursed lips ... and once again feel safe.
I have a saying: human beings are never in stasis; they are either growing or shrinking. When we face our discomfort, and work with it, we grow, when we run from things we shrink.
Here is to the growth of our kids. It will lead to a generation that has not only lived through the pandemic but grown from it. If this article touches a cord then please reach out for a chat.
We are always here for our community.
My direct number is 0412 728 628.