Today’s the day, the day so many people have been waiting for, a total solar eclipse. This phenomenon hasn’t happened for 38 years.
People all over the US and Canada are getting ready as I write this to experience this eclipse. They’ve purchased glasses, made viewers with cereal boxes and mapped out the perfect place to go see the eclipse.
My children and I didn’t watch the eclipse. Not because I don’t think it’s cool. Because my daughter has anxiety and this eclipse was scaring her very badly.
Latest stats show that 1 in 4 Canadians will have at least one anxiety disorder in their life. Anxiety is not easy to deal with, it shows up at funny times and triggers are different for everyone. Those with anxiety have to learn ways to calm themselves during an episode.
We’ve found many things that make our daughter feel better during an anxiety attack. We’ve always got my daughter’s comfort kit close by in case she needs it and are always ready to listen to her and calm her.
We’ve also had to let her “win” on many things. This eclipse is the perfect example. When she knows something will be just too much, we don’t do it. Whether it be a ferry ride, a big hike or going to the movie theatre, we’ve had to adjust our plans many times to put her mind at ease.
Education isn’t Everything
I have obviously educated my daughter about the eclipse (I am a school teacher so it comes naturally). I have shown her videos, shown her DIY projects on how to make a viewer but there is no way I could convince her to watch the eclipse.
One of my daughter’s biggest fears is weather and this eclipse falls in that category. There is NO way I could convince her to watch it and that’s OK. She understands what an eclipse is, she is educated but she does not want to watch it. No problem with me.
Instead of watching the eclipse we spent time together inside. We pulled out our favourite board games, I made their favourite snack and we waited it out.
I plan on watching coverage of the eclipse with my kids on TV and will have a great discussion with them about it. But unlike most families, we didn’t experience it in person.