‘Mom, can I have a blanket?’ And then the world stood still.’: Mom shares important reminder about kids’ mental health

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“‘Mom, can I have a blanket?’

‘Are you cold, bug?’

‘No. I’m just feeling a little nervous about the fireworks and could use a blanket to help me feel better.’

And then the world stood still.

My loud, passionate, hilarious, rambunctious little boy was feeling anxious around the fireworks and knew how to ask, unapologetically, for what he needed to feel safe.

And it was a blanket because that is what he sees mommy do.

little kid wearing ear phones to protect them from loud noises
Courtesy of Mia McKitterick

In fact, he grabbed my big sweater and my heating pad as well.

My husband said, ‘I love that you live so out loud around our kids. Finn knew what to do because of you, and he wasn’t embarrassed by it. When I was little, I would have been called a wuss for needing a blanket for anxiety.’

Most people, my pre-therapy self included, are afraid of asking for help because they don’t want to be perceived as needy and they don’t want to be shunned or rejected.

But the only way to break that cycle is to model it for others, including your own kids.

Make it normal to ask for help.

Make it normal to need a hot bath to relax.

Make it normal to get under a weighted blanket to help with a panic episode.

Make it normal to practice breathing exercises to calm yourself.

Make it normal to take antidepressants with your breakfast.

Make it normal to need a daily dose of a natural plant to stop anxiety in its tracks.

These skills shouldn’t be the exception.

They should be the norm.”

mom with her son taking a sweet picture
Courtesy of Mia McKitterick

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mia McKitterick. You can follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.

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