A Letter From an Overwhelmed Child

Dear Parent, I feel overwhelmed.

School is going to start soon and I need you to know what is happening inside of me.

I am very excited because there is so much about to happen. I get to start over with a new teacher. I’m going to see friends that I have not seen all summer. Everyone will see me again, and I am excited for them to see how much I’ve grown and the image I’m making for myself.

I Feel Overwhelmed With Feelings

Even though it often feels good, this excitement can feel overwhelming. When these feelings get too big, I can’t contain myself! I might get wild. I might talk a lot. You might want to ask me why I am acting this way, but I probably won’t be able to tell you. I don’t fully understand it.

Plus, the more excited I get, the less my rational brain is working. I just feel. And it feels big. Will you please be excited with me? Will you please listen, even when I’m talking incessantly? That would help me contain my emotions and let me know you are here for me. I really need you here right now.

I Feel Overwhelmed With Uncertainty

I am feeling a lot of stress. I’m afraid that I might fail. I’m afraid everyone has changed, and I won’t fit in anymore. I am afraid the mistake I made last year will follow me into this year. These worries keep looping in my head. When this happens, I feel moody. I might act defiant. Yelling at me when I’m defiant just makes me feel more stressed.

Can you please ask me questions instead of reprimanding me? Can you please name my feelings for me, because I don’t always know what they are? Can you listen to me without trying to fix it? I really need you here right now.

I Feel Overwhelmed Pursuing Independence

Sometimes when I try to do projects, you do them for me. This year, parent, will you please let me do my work myself? When you step in and do it for me, I feel like I’m not good enough. I get the hint that I’m not capable.

I need you cheer me on from the side lines. I need you to dry my tears when I feel overwhelmed. But this year, I also need to know I am capable. Which I am! I know sometimes you want things to be perfect, but I need room to be me which is a little messy sometimes. I am going to complain and tell you I can’t do it. I need you to tell me that I can and to challenge that belief. I need you to be there to root for me. I really need you right now.

I Feel Overwhelmed With Changed

Parent, for you my feelings might seem routine. You’ve changed grades many times. You’ve even changed jobs or you might have gone to college. You understand these changes much better than I do, although I probably won’t admit that to you. I’m still learning. Starting a new grade in school is big to me because it’s one of the biggest things I’ve been through. I’m still learning about my emotions, my changing body, and my changing image. Can you please validate that this is big for me? Please don’t tell me you understand because right now, it just doesn’t feel true. I really just need your comfort and support. I really need you here right now.

Thank you for listening. Thank you for making changes for me. This lets me know I am worth it to you, that I am worthy of your love, and that I am valued by you. When you show me these things through your actions, I take them with me each year. And as I grow, I get to take these beliefs with me into adulthood.

These beliefs about myself will help me to choose good relationships. They will help me to make choices that are good for me, because I will know I am worthy of good things.

Your Child