How to Find Your Footing: Reducing Anxiety as a Food Allergy Parent

Speaker1

Good evening and welcome to the Backstop food allergy anxiety exploration event, reducing parent food allergy anxiety, finding your footing. I'm Liz Voyles, director of partnerships at Backstop, and I'm a mom with a tween with severe food allergies. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Backstop is a one stop shop, virtual care solution and app for parents of children who have food allergies. We believe that confident, well-informed parents make safer kids, and we have workshops, webinars and a whole online community to help you feel like you have back up. You can explore food allergy, anxiety and lots of other issues with other parents and an expert today in our small group huddles. After we get off this webinar, you can find those and sign up at getbackstop.com/events. Today, we're going to hear from Dr. Fawn McNeil-Haber, PhD. Dr. McNeil-Haber is a licensed psychologist with over 20 years in mental health. She is the founder of Brave Minds Psychological Services, and she's a parent of children with food allergies. She also works with children, adolescents and adults and families in individual groups and family therapy. Dr. McNeil-Haber will explore what exactly makes us anxious about food allergies and the difference between healthy and unhealthy levels of anxiety. She will then give us some tips about how to alleviate anxiety in our everyday life. Then we'll start the Q&A, where she can answer your questions. You can type your question at any time during the presentation. Just use the Q&A box and I will read it out loud to the group. You can also upvote the questions that you would like prioritized. Thanks again for joining us. And now we'll hear from Dr. McNeil-Haber.

00:02:28

Speaker2

Thank you so much, Liz. I am really happy to be here with Backstop and with you and with all of you parents out there that have joined us tonight. We're going to be talking about parent anxiety, and I wanted to start off talking a little bit about why it's so important that we're talking about anxiety, that we're talking about parents’ anxiety, parents of kids with food allergies. And so one of the first points that I want to make is that there are a variety of challenges with food allergies that can tap into our anxiety around food allergies. There is the most obvious, we are worried about our child safety, our worry about anaphylactic reactions, our worry about what can happen, all those what ifs that can go in our head. But there's a number of other worries and points that can make us anxious. And so another one is the massive amount of responsibility that comes with keeping a child with food allergy safe, scrutinizing food, calling restaurants, speaking up, speaking out. We also have concerns around our children's socialization, around them being excluded, around bullying, around making sure that they're included. These are all concerns that also can keep us up and keep us thinking about different things, the discomfort around communicating and advocating about your child's allergies. We're going to talk about this a little bit more tonight, but the anxiety that can come from having to speak out, having to create boundaries, having to really advocate with extended family, with the school, with our significant other, with other parents, all of these things advocating with the school, trusting others is another place where anxiety can get stirred up around trusting our child with relatives, with the school going on, playdates going out with their friends, going out when they start having romantic relationships, all of those things can stir up anxiety in us.

00:04:37

Speaker2

And finally, how we help our children cope with having food allergies and all the different things that comes with it for them. So this is why talking about anxiety is so important for us. The next point that I like to make is that anxiety can be contagious. And this is another reason why it's so important that we're talking about it is that the tension that anxiety can create can spread in our households can spread to others, creating feelings of lack of confidence in our kids if them feeling anxious. Another phenomenon that's a little different from anxiety being contagious that can happen is sometimes one parent will hold a whole lot of anxiety and the other parent will actually end up all the way on the other end of the spectrum, just being kind of completely chill and laid back about food allergies. And so suddenly you have this mismatch where one person is holding all the anxiety and the other person isn't really holding any of it and finding a way to kind of balance that back out.

00:05:43

Speaker2

Another important piece is why talking about anxiety, being aware of anxiety is so important is because children are very attuned to their parents reactions. They're very attuned to how parents are feeling, and this is actually biologically wired into children to be attuned to those individuals that are responsible for their survival. So if children are attuned to our anxiety about what's going on, then they're more likely to absorb that anxiety and feel it. And we need to be very careful about how much anxiety our kids have. Furthermore, high anxiety impacts how we interact with in our relationships. It can make us irritable, it can make us withdrawn, it can make us avoidant. Furthermore, high anxiety impedes our ability to learn and make decisions, communicate and advocate. When anxiety gets too high and I'll talk about this, it actually cuts off those areas of the brain that help us do those things. And finally, I think anxiety is so important to talk about because it's actually a helpful and really important emotion. And this kind of launches me into talking about what anxiety is, how we can kind of make it our friend because I think that is that is part of our goal. So I say anxiety is a helpful emotion. I am a true believer. I am a psychologist, I am a therapist, I work with kids, I work with teens, and I am a true believer that emotions are… 

00:07:11

Speaker2

Our body communicating with us. Our emotions are telling us things about our environment, about what's happening in our environment and giving us information and information for us to use. And so with that anxiety is a very helpful, important emotion. Anxiety is. That part of our brain that pulls the fire alarm when there seems to be a threat. So for example, kids who are in school, there's a test coming up. There are tests. Tests can create some danger. You might not do well and you want a little bit of anxiety to be stirred up. You want them to be thinking, OK, I need to prepare for this. There are things that I need to do. What do I know? What don't I know you want their brain kind of beginning to work. You want that kind of good stress that gets us motivated and gets us doing things. And so I think of this as healthy anxiety, that level of anxiety that helps us as parents plan out different things. Know danger could be coming, that there might be something happening in the environment that I really need to take precautions around. And so once again, anxiety is our body sending us messages. And that makes me kind of get into understanding the anxiety and the brain. So the anxiety is our body sending us messages. What is happening in our brain? So I like to start off by talking about how our brain is built for survival.

00:08:49

Speaker2

And I'll say that again, our brain is built for survival. Our brain is constantly scanning the environment for potential dangers that are happening. And so if our brain is constantly scanning the environment for potential dangers that are happening, that means that it is attuned to anything in the environment that might be a threat. And so even things that are really safe, our brain is more likely to say, Oh, that might be a threat, might be a threat is more important than probably safe. And so from our brain standpoint, it would rather say that something's a threat and it actually be safe than say that something safe and it actually be a threat. And so our brain is really wired to be scanning the environment for danger. And this is really important for us to know because I think sometimes when we feel anxious, when we feel our brain kind of pulling that alarm system, it's an automatic that things must be dangerous. There must be a problem. And that's not necessarily the case. So I always like to emphasize that our brain is wired to look for danger and it's searching. And when it thinks it's fine, it has found danger. A physiological response happens. It pulls that 911 center in the brain, right in our limbic system, that amygdala and we start being flooded with these stress hormones, cortisol, adrenaline to do different things. It's a physiological reaction.

00:10:17

Speaker2

Our heart starts racing or palms might get sweaty. We might start feeling jittery. We might have the experience of literally our blood being redirected to our large muscles so that we can get ready to fight, or that we can flee. Fight or flee, run away, or that we can freeze. And that can make our stomach…because we don't need our stomach. We're trying to fight or flee, our stomach might start hurting. You might get that, that gastro stuff going on. And so it's a physiological response we're having. And it's important for us to be aware and be able to step back when that physiological response is happening to really say, OK, our body's communicating with us. It's telling us something right now. And then we need to take that step to figure out, OK, what is actually happening, happening in the environment to make that assessment about what's happening in the environment, whether things are safe or not safe. And so this is important because it can help us step back from the anxiety that gets stirred up to really see it as a communication and start working on, OK, what do I need to do in this moment? And I'm going to come back to that physiological response when I start talking about what can we do about our anxiety? And so I'm going to move into how we start thinking about when we start moving from healthy anxiety, healthy stress that motivates us, that gets us going, gets that adrenaline pumping, gets us ready to go to that unhealthy anxiety where it's overwhelming, where it's more than what's going to be helpful for us in the situation.

00:11:54

Speaker2

And what we're talking about there is when we are overwhelmed, when we are suddenly struggling to make decisions because once again, when that when they start pulling that fire alarm or flood it with those stress hormones, one of the things that can happen is that we can actually get cut off from our prefrontal cortex right behind our forehead in the front of our brain that helps us to make decisions. And typically, we need to be able to make decisions in the kind of stressful situations that we as food allergy parents are dealing with. We don't need to just run and we don't need to start fighting. We need to be able to think and make decisions. So unhealthy anxiety is when you see your anxiety becoming so overwhelming that your ability to think is really impaired, that your ability to problem solve becomes impaired. Also, you know, I mentioned before fight, flight or freeze, that feeling of being paralyzed, that feeling of being so overwhelmed with anxiety that we're unsure what to do next. And we can't do anything, just want to stay in the house. We just want to create a bubble around us and our child and can't move or do anything. And that's also a sign of unhealthy anxiety of when it's gotten out of hand.

00:13:18

Speaker2

So, as I go along this track, I think about that, that unhealthy stress, unhealthy stress levels. And the other thing for us to look for in those kind of scenarios is when we're exerting too much control. It's another thing that happens when anxiety gets to unhealthy levels. As we start to try to control everything, we start to clamp down on adolescence. We start to prevent our kids from doing anything. We may not be doing anything ourselves, even the things that are safe to do and we might start avoiding things now in our arsenal is food allergy parents. Avoidance is one of our best tools. We avoid the allergen. We are supposed to avoid the allergen. We work very hard at avoiding the allergen, so anxiety helps us prepare and helps us see those dangers and we avoid where we can avoid and plan around it. So if we're talking about unhealthy anxiety, once that avoidance gets to the point that it's not just about keeping your child safe, then we've kind of gotten outside of that healthy anxiety zone. And this is when we're talking about avoiding things that aren't necessarily needed to accommodate appropriately our child's allergen as related to whatever their doctor may recommend. So avoiding places or avoiding restaurants or avoiding things that could be or most likely safe, that we may avoid them anyway because of the anxiety it creates to go of the worry about a potential reaction.

00:14:57

Speaker2

So, I'm going to now move into the three takeaways that I want to spend most of the time talking about here and the three big takeaways that I'm going to be talking about are growth mindset versus having a fixed mindset. I'm going to be talking about approaching anxiety from a physiological perspective. How can we calm our body? Because if it's a mind body reaction, if it's the brain that's happening, how can we physically calm our bodies? And then I'm going to circle back to self-care, and I know that that's kind of a word that is just thrown around all over the place, but self-care from a food allergy perspective, keeping this idea of anxiety in mind because us as parents, we have to be able to one, be aware of that anxiety and then how do we manage it? So it's not just flowing all over our household. All right. So I'm going to jump down, I think I'm a few slides ahead at this point to talking about this growth mindset versus fixed mindset, and I'm going to dive into what to what do I mean by this? What do I mean by a fixed mindset? So fixed mindset is when you believe that your qualities, your intelligence, your personality, your capabilities are fixed. But this is just the way it is.

00:16:26

Speaker2

I once had a friend and she said she wasn't good at math. She wasn't good at math. Math wasn't her thing. She wasn't good at math, and that's just the way it is. And that's what you stuck to. And that's what she still sticks to. And that's that kind of encapsulates, I don't know if I did that word, right, but that kind of brings together a fixed mindset. This idea that it's just the way it is. I can't change what's inside of me. I'm just an anxious person. That's just the way it is. I'm always going to be worried and anxious and overwhelmed by these type of things. Now, a growth mindset takes us to the other end. A growth mindset is the belief that your qualities, your intelligence, your personality, your capabilities, your ability to manage stress is something that can be cultivated through effort, something that you are able to change, that you are able to grow over time, that you are able to mold into something else. And so individuals who can really embrace the growth mindset are individuals who can see challenges not as something to be completely avoided, but rather something to be embraced, something to be conquered, something to rise above. And so when I think about food allergies, I think about the many, many challenges that we, as food allergy parents have to surmount, have to tack to rise, to navigating new situations will increase our confidence and decrease anxiety.

00:18:18

Speaker2

So I'll say that in a different way. Behavior comes before emotion. So what do I mean by that? What I mean by that is that when any challenge comes up, for example, let's take the challenge of advocacy and communication. That is a big piece that can create a lot of anxiety for us as parents having to advocate and communicate and set boundaries to extended family about food allergies, having to teach them, having to go back and forth about some point they heard somewhere that they think might be true, having to set boundaries about what we can and we cannot do, having to do things that in some cultures may seem a little offensive. Now I have to bring my food to your house, even though you made food. What does that say about my trust in your food and all of these different things? And if you're a person who has decided, you know, a fixed mindset that I am just not someone that can speak my mind, I am not someone who can communicate, who speaks up. I cannot challenge other people, I can't do that. It makes it really hard to figure out, how am I going to navigate these situations? How am I going to manage this anxiety each time I have to approach a situation where I have to set a boundary with someone? And so as I, you know, send us into this realm of a growth mindset, rather than seeing the challenges around advocacy, communication, boundary setting as something that is overly challenging and not within your wheelhouse, it's really important to say that, OK, I may not have those skills at the level that I want now.

00:20:04

Speaker2

Maybe I didn't get them growing up. Maybe it wasn't OK for me to communicate my boundaries and my needs. Maybe I've always just been a kind of a shy, low key person, but say you know what? I can find my voice. I can develop this skill. Not only can I develop the skill, but my voice will become clearer and clearer the more I use it. So knowing that the first time, the first times that I'm doing this, it's not going to come out right. It's going to be messy. I'm going to stumble over my words. I may be in the mirror having to practice what I'm going to say to people. I may do it and it may be shaky. It may come out wrong. I may feel like that. I was overly harsh with the other person, but with a growth mindset, I'm going to say, you know what? I'm going to take that experience and I'm going to learn from it, and I'm going to figure out how to do it better the next time. And I'm going to figure out how I can say things differently. And I'm going to speak exactly what I wanted to say to the teacher, as opposed to maybe an apologetic version of what I wanted to say to the teacher.

00:21:07

Speaker2

And so really, being able to see it as a development that this is something that I am going to be able to practice. And you know what, with the example of advocacy and communication, there is always another opportunity to practice. It just keeps happening and keeps happening. So those challenges will come and you will have so many opportunities to rise to the challenge to clarify your voice and know exactly what you want to say eventually. And the more you get closer to that, once again, the behavior comes and then the confidence comes and the decreased anxiety comes. So it comes like that. You start rising to the challenge. Some families eat at restaurants, some families don't eat at restaurants, and it really kind of depends, obviously, on your child's allergen. It depends on your doctor's recommendation. But some do avoid restaurants just because there's there's too much anxiety around it, and you have to figure out, OK, what is best for my family? What's the trajectory of my child's growth? Because is my child going to avoid restaurants forever? Because if they are, that might be a good strategy. But if they're eventually going to want to go out with their teen friends or their young adult friends after they're completely outside of my home, at some point I have to figure out how do I navigate that kind of situation? How do I figure it out so that I can eventually model it for them so that I can figure out, OK, what is the best way to do this? And so that's an example of having that growth mindset, being able to rise to challenges, being able to learn from different people about how they're doing it, being able to persist, to continue to build and learn and grow and try and to find lessons and inspirations in the achievement of others.

00:23:01

Speaker2

And I, you know, I am a big fan of if it's been done, I can learn to do it. If it's been done, I can learn to do it. My family has never traveled internationally. We just haven't done that yet, and that is absolutely related to food allergies. But I know people do it. I know people do it, and when we are there, I know where to go find that information and I know how to figure it out. And so if it has been done…travel…people do road trips, people do planes. If they can do it, I can learn how to do it and I can learn how to help my child do it. So, my first big thing growth mindset in managing anxiety and moving forward. And I'm going to leave you with, from the growth mindset perspective, the power of “yet.” And I read about this recently and I really liked it, and I'm going to give you a bunch of examples of the power of yet.

00:23:55

Speaker2

So we haven't traveled internationally yet. My son hasn't had an independent play date yet. I don't feel like I can have the hang of this yet. I haven't found the right preschool yet. And so really putting that punctuation at the end, even if you're not feeling it in the beginning, helps you to keep that momentum of growth moving, that this just hasn't happened for us yet. So I'm going to move into approaching anxiety from a physiological perspective. Look. So as I was saying before, the experience of anxiety really is a mind body experience. The body responds to all of these stress hormones, cortisol, adrenaline pumping through the system with physical reactions. And so when we think about how to manage anxiety, how to deal with it, when you can feel the agitation in your body, you can feel the fog, you can feel it all stirring and you're like, I want to. I want to bring it down low enough so that I can think straight and make good decisions. I like to encourage people to think about it from a physiological perspective. How can you calm your body physically? And I know a lot of people I've heard about breathwork, I've heard about the importance of breathing, and I'm certainly going to say that now it is when we think about practices, practices that are centuries and centuries old.

00:25:40

Speaker2

So many come back to the work of our breath. So yoga, meditation, mindfulness, there's so much around the work of breath and breath is life and we need to be able to focus on our breathing and help that to physically calm the entire system. Someone once shared with me about the lower level of the brain, I think about the top level in all of our thinking and our emotional area where it's pulling the the 911 center and pulling that fire alarm. When I think of the back of the brain, that is really all about making things happen quickly. It's about those involuntary things that our body's doing from respiration and circulation, and a lot of that happens right down at the bottom of the brain. And so what someone said to me was that the bottom of the brain is spying on our respiratory system and it's spying on our respiratory system because if we are breathing hard and running and trying to get away from someone, we're probably in danger. But if we can breathe slow and calm, probably not in danger and things are probably okay. And so this is definitely one of the tools we can use to communicate with our brain that we're actually not in any current physical danger. Our child's not in any current physical danger. We have time to think, and I like to explain how to breathe by first talking about that inhale and then exhale being longer than the inhale.

00:27:22

Speaker2

And that's an important point that our exhale should be longer than our inhale. Because when we get into anxiety and we start hyperventilating and breathing really quick, there's a lot of out and out and out. But what we want to do is we want to slow the breath down, slow the inhale down, but really slow that exhale down and we can do that through smelling the flowers. And blowing out the candles like a birthday cake, and, you know, we're probably mostly parents here, so we have enough candles on that cake to know that we're going to need to blow nice and slow if we want to get them all blown out. So we're going to breathe those flowers in. Might even imagine you're breathing in lavender and you're going to blow those candles out and you want to really take time to practice that. This is not something for us to try when we're feeling hurried. This is something for us to get really good at because us as parents, we tend to go, go, go, go. And we're moving and we're doing things and we're going to get to our mental health. We're going to get to our body. We're eventually going to get to it. And it's really something if we want to manage our anxiety and be good at it, that we have to cultivate and practice, we have to whether it's shortly before bed, whether it's first thing in the morning and it's taking a little bit of time, whether it's just three minutes to just practice that.

00:29:02

Speaker2

You can even try it now. And once we practice it, we can get good at it and we can pull it out at different times and different circumstances to really communicate to our brain that it's time to calm. Now, there are a number of other strategies for calming the body. There is meditation, there is mindfulness. Mindfulness is certainly one of my favorites around returning to the present moment us as parents, we can get really caught up in the what ifs and what's going to happen and when they're teenager or when they're off to college. And we can be holding our four year old's hand worrying about where they're going to eat at their college dorm and if their roommate's going to be cool about it or not cool about it. But we really need to get into that practice of how do we bring ourselves back to the present moment, back to what's happening now and not getting lost in the what ifs? What could happen really important? Other physical and I say that's physical because we slow things down when we come back. Yes, it's a mind strategy, but it's also a way to slow things down when we come back to our body. Come back to the present moment and come back to the physical sensations of the here and now.

00:30:25

Speaker2

Other physical ways to calm our body, some people like warm showers or warm baths. There's also exercise. Exercise gets the hormones, the stress hormones flowing through our system. It gets the energy out that agitation that may be built up. It discharges any energy that's gotten stuck around something really difficult that might have happened. And it also releases endorphins and can make us feel good. And so exercising can be really helpful as a body based strategy to come. And if I move into some land based strategies there, self talk and I could talk about self talk for a while, but what I'd like to focus on is something I recently read and I thought it was just amazing. And it was this idea of taking what if? And we can be really good at going into those what ifs? What if this happens? We're dwelling on the past? Dwelling on a previous reaction? What if? What if this had happened? And instead of using what if,  trying to add on or start with even if.  and I thought this was a really great shift. So what if my friends choose a restaurant I don't feel comfortable with? Even if my friend, chooses a restaurant I'm not comfortable with, I can speak up and advocate for a different restaurant. I can bring my own food. What if a restaurant we choose has peanut shells all over the floor? True story.

00:31:51

Speaker2

We went to a restaurant and there was literally peanut shells all over the floor. Even we choose a restaurant that has peanuts all over the floor, I can pick up my child and leave immediately. I or a relative can enter the restaurant before my child to stand for safety. I can remind myself that my child, my particular child, does not have an airborne allergy, and we can walk calmly out and call another restaurant or go back to the hotel and eat. This was on a vacation, so just that shift changes my mindset and changes kind of how I'm thinking about those dangers that I'm perceiving in the environment and that are really at times in the environment. The last thing with our anxiety that I'm going to briefly touch upon is this idea of problem solving. Problem solving is a great strategy for dealing with and managing anxiety because it breaks things down into components. This is a great thing to slow yourself down. And it's also a really great thing to do with your kids and do with your teens to help them manage their anxiety. You manage your anxiety and figure out the best solution. And so this may be the problem. This would be, I call it, steps. What steps do you take in problem solving? You see the problem.

00:33:11

Speaker2

Articulate what it is that you're managing. So sometimes when it's in your head, it's kind of all just goo moving around and you don't really articulate just what the problem is. Think about solutions. Any solution could be good. Your teen is forgetting their EpiPen at home, think about solutions you might throw out there. You could tape it to their head. Any solution. We're not evaluating solutions, any particular solution. You could get them fancy little backpack to take with them. Any solution putting on the table, exploring the consequences of those solutions. Probably going to be uncomfortable to sleep with an EpiPen strapped to your head. Cool backpack might look cute to their friends, so really exploring that solution and then taking one to try, picking a solution that you think is going to work and breaking things into smaller pieces makes us feel like we have more control and can bring down anxiety. So the last point that I want to make is moving into self care, and I think self care is a really big topic so many people are talking about here self care, self care. What does that mean? And so I think when I think about self care and I think about food allergies, I think about anxiety that parents experience in relation to food allergies. One of the first things I think about is what is thinking about your support network? Who is your support network? Who is your support at home? Who is your supports in the family? Who is your support in your friend group? Who is your support in your community? I think it is really incredible what Backstop is putting together because it's really about that community support and bringing together problem solving together, coming together, validating each other's feelings, the amount of validation that can help ease anxiety and that can help bring it down that, oh, this isn't something something I'm tackling alone.

00:35:15

Speaker2

This isn't something that I’ve just experienced that other people have experienced. We flipped to that growth mindset. Other people have done this. I can learn to do it, too. And so having that support network and having people that you can tap into is really a form of care for yourself because you can talk about the challenges that you're experiencing without necessarily having it pour on to your home where your child may be, and they may feel that contagious, anxious energy. So having that support network? The second thing that I think is really important when I think about self care is being able to set boundaries and I talked about this briefly when I talked about advocacy and communication, but setting boundaries is really important. What are things that you just can't tolerate or have time for anymore because it's important to manage what's going on with the food allergies, whether that means there are certain places that just don't make sense to go, and there are other places that are completely enjoyable to go.

00:36:27

Speaker2

Maybe there are people that are really supportive and then there may be other people that just don't get it, no matter how many times you might try to explain, and you may have to set boundaries around that. So really, thinking about where do my boundaries need to be and then how do I work at getting good at setting those boundaries? In addition to setting boundaries specifically related to food allergies, setting boundaries around what you're able to do. Yes, the reason why food allergies brings up more anxiety is we talk about the responsibility, we talk about advocacy, we talk about the many things that you have to do. In addition to the fact that you're a person, you might have a job outside of just managing things at home. You may have hobbies and interests of your own, and it is OK to set boundaries around what you're willing to do and what you are not willing to do. Because I like to tell people every time you say yes to something, you're saying no to something else, and you may not be intentionally realizing that you're saying no to this other thing over here that actually might be a bigger priority than the thing that you just said yes to. So really, knowing that saying no, saying yes, setting boundaries is all part of self care. The third thing I'd like to emphasize is taking your own needs seriously, and this is really important because I think that we can put our needs on the back burner, which wears out our body, which makes us more susceptible to anxiety and lots of different physical things.

00:38:01

Speaker2

I'll use an example of my own. I am notorious for not eating particularly well. I have lots of food allergies in the family of some food intolerances in the family. I have people that aren't allergic to food, but they have wants and needs to, and they don't want to just have to eat what's here because that's what people need. And so after I kind of juggled all these other people's food needs, you know, my needs kind of what I wanted to eat or what I was willing to eat kind of got to the back burner. And recently I decided, you know what? I want to try one of those like little food services that they keep advertising about how they drop off a little box. It has all the things to make yourself a good meal. I was like, You know what? I'm going to do that for me. I'm not making it for anybody else in the household. I'm just going to make it for me and have a few meals for myself that I can grab during the week. It actually tastes good and not hurt everybody else's preferences. And so really, thinking about what is it that you need? What are your limits? Do what needs to happen for you to be taking care of. And the last thing that I'm going to leave us with before we move into some questions is taking breaks.

00:39:10

Speaker2

You know, as parents, we can just go, go, go and do do do. But it is really important to take breaks and not just breaks for ourselves, but breaks from just being around food allergies. And so what might this look like? This could go from hobbies that you like to do. It could be going out and eating with a friend and eating whatever you like. And there may be some guilt. I know sometimes I feel guilt when I eat allergens out. But as long as you're doing it safely, it's OK to go out and not be immersed in the food allergy realm. It's OK to take breaks, and sometimes we can feel guilty because, you know, one of the hard things is this is our child's food allergy. This is not our food allergies, and sometimes it can be a real reminder that we can take a break, but they can't. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't take breaks as being part of parents that are putting things together and making sure things are OK for our kids. So I am certainly looking forward to hearing some of the questions that have come up. I'm going to pass the mic back to you, Liz.

00:40:24

Speaker1

Thank you. I have definitely done that with my husband. We've gone out to eat and we've eaten things that have peanuts in them, and it feels like we're doing something thrilling and sort of dangerous or something, even though neither one of us has any allergy to peanuts. But our daughter does. So I can completely relate to that. So I would be remiss if I did not tell everyone that in this conversation we're going to get to your questions. I have a feeling we're not going to get to all of them, so we encourage you to download the free Backstop app. The conversation continues there. There are free training videos that have really helped me with any anxiety I have about an emergency. There is a community forum there and there's lots of other information, workshops, ways to get involved. So just go to the App Store and download the free app when you can. I usually just search for Backstop and allergy, and it comes right up and you can download it. Ok. We have a lot of really great questions, so thank you, everyone for being so engaged and sending us your awesome questions. I think I want to start with one of the most popular ones first. Which is about restaurants. There is some anxiety about. Going to restaurants in general, and then there's also anxiety about sort of advocating for your child in a restaurant and maybe feeling like you're being pushy and and feeling a little scared about inhabiting that role of advocate. So can you talk to us about that far?

00:42:21

Speaker2

Absolutely. So I'm going to start off with first the fear of going to restaurants, and I think you really have to start off grounded in your child's allergens and your doctor's recommendation around what safe precautions are. And starting there and getting really concrete about what that looks like. I know people who have have reactions related to contact. I know people who have reactions related to an allergen being airborne, and all of these are pieces to take into consideration. My child had a contact reaction, ingestion, and so certainly the idea of going to a restaurant and trusting someone else to provide his meal. Terrifying. However, if I really got concrete about his allergen, what he's allergic to and how he could potentially be safe going to a restaurant and then using that to power my work and preparation ahead of time. And so I'm a big, we always call restaurants ahead of time because you can get a feel on the phone for whether they really care or whether they have never heard of allergens or they don’t even know what to do. And it's really important that if you're getting that kind of message that that's not where you want to be, you want to be with someone who's had some experience and they're able to talk to you on the phone about it. I'm also a big fan around knowing what you want to order, calling and talking about this meal and that meal and when you get into teenagers, they may have more ideas around what they want to eat.

00:44:09

Speaker2

The younger kids, typically with younger kids, you can focus it on kind of just in whatever their box is that they like to eat. For us, it was steak and steamed broccoli. We didn't want the steak on the grill. Use a piece of foil, don't put any butter on it. Like very clear about this is what we eat out, and that is kind of the way it is. And so really, thinking about what works in the boundaries of what you're doing and how can you clearly communicate that hearing that person on the phone and saying, OK, they seem to know what they're doing, making the reservation, they know we're coming. So I'm a big fan as far as managing that anxiety with having the control that you can have using it and then going to the restaurant knowing who you spoke with on the phone, having the entire conversation over again, that is okay. Having it all over again, confirming all the things you spoke about, having ideas about what you want them to do with the food. And yes, speaking up. I have chef cards, we have chef cards. We got templates on Google laminating them. This person is severely allergic to this allergen, this allergy and this allergen to make sure that this food is not in. This allergen is not included in their food or in any preparation of their food. So having something concrete also that you can hand to people so that if you start to feel like you're wavering and talking, there it is written down that they can take back to the chef.

00:45:37

Speaker2

You can show it to them. So really, doing that prep work helps manage the anxiety. Knowing about your child's allergen and what are the areas that are your anxiety versus the areas that you actually do need to avoid? And then going out and finding that safe place, that place that you have identified as this is a safe place to go and going out and having that experience. And so it is about, you know, we talk about the behavior comes before the feeling. You're not going to feel confident that first time, it's not going to be a good feeling, but you can still use your judgment along the way and you can work together with other adults. Maybe you go with your friend, that pushy friend that you have that you know, is going to be like, wait a minute. We also didn't mention this, this and this. Or maybe you like to be in control of the allergy stuff, but your spouse is the one that's just like, I'll say anything to my husband. Will has no problem. He doesn't feel bad, like he doesn't feel bad saying stuff. I might feel bad, but he doesn't feel bad. So like if I know I'm not going to be able to get it out, he'll tell her, so have a game plan, pull other people in, like have your team and have your tribe make it happen.

00:46:55

Speaker1

That's really good advice I I just remember it getting easier. I remember it being hard at first. And then it got easier. Okay, so a second sort of strand of questions that we're getting from a lot of different people is about advocating in a school. There are also quite a few parents with young babies and toddlers who during the pandemic weren't able to start school. And so they're kind of starting school for the first time now. And those parents are maybe not finding that the school is super receptive or taking it seriously. Do you have any advice for those parents?

00:47:43

Speaker2

Absolutely. From the standpoint of shoring yourself up, that this is something that I'm going to need to be pushing for, we have the public schools, we have private schools. It depends on what kind of direction you might be going in. I know when I first started looking at schools, I went and visited the public school like I was interviewing them at a private school and asking them all sorts of questions about what they were doing and how they were doing it. So really having your list,  being prepared with your list of things that you want to know and questions that you want to know from different schools about how they're doing things and getting a vibe for what they're doing? If you're talking about the public schools, there are different avenues that you can take to ensure that they are following the things that need to be followed for your child's food allergies. You can request 504 accommodations, and if you haven't heard of like a 504 plan, Google it, it is out there and you can have medical letters to support your recommendations for a 504 plan to make sure there are certain accommodations so that your child can safely be at school and safely participate in activities. So knowing that you have that but also figuring out how do I get a communication going with the school? How do I also do research so I know what kind of accommodations I would like to suggest because sometimes we'll go into a situation and we'll be like, Oh, you know, here's what's going on. Here's the food allergies. Here's this: What can you do? Can you get that person? They got this question mark above their head like they don't know.

00:49:27

Speaker2

But if you come in and you're like, Well, this is what's really important, and I'm wondering if it's possible for you to do this or is it possible for you to do that? You can really find out whether they're going to start, whether you're going to see the gears turning like, well, yes, we could do this, or yes, perhaps we can accommodate in this kind of way. Or, you know, my son went to a Montessori school and the Montessori schools, they like the kids to walk around. They eat at different places. They do all sorts of things that you might not really want as a food allergy parent and in his classroom, they didn't do that. Snack time was in a specific section, that is where they could have snack. They could not take it anywhere else. They could not touch toys before washing their hands. They changed that and it was done in his classroom. It wasn't typically what was done. And honestly, I think by the time he went through, they were doing it and most of the classrooms, because we know that food allergies is like one in 13 kids at this point. So really, having done some research on what they can do and be throwing out examples and having have a notepad, I always come with a notepad so that people look at me and they're like, Oh, OK, this is like, we're having an interview, OK, I see where you're coming from. So have your things around to send that message.

00:50:44

Speaker1

Yeah, that's really good advice I know for our family, getting the 504 plan in place with my daughter's school, my daughter goes to public school was a game changer. There was kind of a time before the 504 plan where it felt like the Wild West and after where it felt much more orderly.

00:51:02

Speaker2

Yes, and they will tell you like, Oh, we'll do that, we'll do that. You don't need the 504 plan. We'll do that and you're just waiting. You're like, OK, when are you going to do that and what's going on? And it can be great to just like you said you kind of get it in place and suddenly things shift.

00:51:19

Speaker1

Right, right, it's sort of operationalizing it. So you're not just relying on the good grace of a great teacher or something it can follow them through years too. Ok. This is a really great question that I have not seen before, but I bet it will be really relatable to a lot of people on the call. I follow quite a bit of allergic centric social media accounts. Especially on Instagram. And while I would hope that it was created with the goal of helping and empowering others, some accounts feel more alarmist centric. I believe the technical term is doomscrolling. What is your take on social media? The allergy community? What's a healthy level of consumption of these social media accounts? And when do your spidey senses get up that maybe you should pare back?

00:52:18

Speaker2

I am going to take us right back to that awareness. You have to know you, and that's first and foremost understand your body. Your body will tell you when it's had enough. Once you get that connection with your body going, it'll start to feel like, OK, this doesn't feel good anymore. This is actually making me more anxious and its not alleviating my anxiety or validating the experiences that I'm having or further educating me. I've read the same thing for the fourth time, said in a different way, and now I'm feeling all stirred up. And so one of the big things is being aware of your body and the messages that your body is sending you and what your purpose is on social media. Why are you there in that moment? Why are you scrolling through? Are you scrolling through because you want to get information or are you scrolling through because you're feeling like you really need to connect with other parents? And when you get on social media, there are some places where you can share with parents. You can feel like you're giving, you can feel like you're empowering, which helps our own anxiety. Also when we feel like we are helping our greater good. Are you on there because you're super anxious and you're hoping that somebody will say something that will solve the problem? And the truth is, while you can gather information on social media, no one is going to solve the problem.

00:53:42

Speaker2

No one is going to say something. If you're looking for something to happen that really no one can give you, and that really takes some insight on your part that really no one can give you that you're thinking, OK, is this going to be OK? It's like, Well, people can give you their story. People can give you horrible stories, people can give you all sorts of things. But the bottom line is you are walking your path and you have to at some point manage your feelings and let them flow through you and walk forward. And so sometimes you do just have to stop. You just have to say this doesn't feel good anymore, and I need to put this down. I need to go in a different direction. I need to. I need to find my tribe somewhere else. I need to find my friends. I need to connect with someone else. I need to go hug my kid because we talked about that mindfulness. We don't need to be out there. Sometimes we just need to come back to the present moment that I am here in my home. My kid is OK, everybody's eating. Everybody is OK right now and really kind of center ourself there. So let your body be your guide.

00:54:53

Speaker1

That's great. Ok, we have a few questions from folks about teenagers. Many parents are feeling anxiety about teenagers doing more on their own. How can we allow teenagers to have the freedom they need to grow, but also make sure that they stay safe? Remember to carry their epinephrine, ask about ingredients, et cetera.

00:55:22

Speaker2

Yes. Teenagers, I remember, and I'm going to start off with a non food allergy story. I remember having my baby four and six year old and being in some restaurant, some place that we were at and I was still  bringing food. I think I brought food for both kids and it's not relevant to the story, but I see this mom at the other table and she's with her older kids. they  seem to be the same  age, and I lean over and I was like, Oh, it gets better, right? And she just looks at me and she's like, No, it doesn't. And I don't know what space she was in in that moment, but it was not the space to tell me that my two boys that are going back and forth are going to suddenly be sitting at the table nicely at like 13 and 15. So I say that because, you know, as kids become teenagers, there's a whole new host of problems that we can worry about because they're doing things on their own. They're seeing their friends and this is exactly what they're supposed to be doing. And this is what we need to be building up to and preparing ourselves for the fact that we can't just avoid all sorts of things because we need to show them how to do it. And this is part of that, that empowerment piece, that part of managing anxiety, you have to show them how to manage their anxiety.

00:56:45

Speaker2

We have to show them how to do all these things as we build in that direction. So when I think about teenagers, I always like to start with development, understanding the development of teenagers. They are having amazing brain changes, cognitive changes, their identity changes, social changes. There's all of these changes that are happening during the teenage years. The only time the brain is developing more is like between the ages of birth and three years old. Then we had adolescence. The brain grows like you wouldn't believe. And then we had adulthood, and we kind of smooth sailing for a while. So all of these brain changes that are happening, if we try to understand them a little bit, it'll really help us with our anxiety and how to manage our teens so that we are not smothering them. We are not over controlling them, we are not harassing them, that we are finding ways to really work within teen development. And so one of the things that I like to think about is, first of all, their prefrontal cortex right here. I mentioned it before decision making, judgment planning that is not fully developed until the age of twenty five, which is not reassuring at all. But it lets us know that they need help in planning, in decision making, in judgment, and that we may see them as able to make good decisions at one moment. But then they make the complete they.

00:58:15

Speaker2

We don't even understand what they're thinking the next moment, and this is normal for their age. So what does this tell us? This tells us that we cannot assume that they necessarily get it. We cannot assume that just because they did it once that they're going to consistently be doing it. This means that we are going to have to be in some ways very involved and very much helping them structure and very much stepping away to give them control and give them the opportunity to do this, the work of adolescents that they have to do. What is one of the pieces of work? Well, adolescent brains are all about taking risks, which can be terrifying for us as food allergy parents, but that's the way they're wired. Never again in your life are you trying out so many new things getting your first job, applying for schools, meeting new people, having your first romantic relationship, having to deal with all of this constructive feedback about what you need to be doing in your life. We will never again do that over such a short period of time. Most of us and so their brains are wired to take risks. What does this mean? This means we need to be making sure that our teen has outlets for risk taking, that they have places where they're able to do sensation seeking, take risks, do things so that this isn't coming out in other ways like, Oh, I don't need to take my epinephrine with me, or it's not that big a deal or that it's not necessarily coming out in this way, but giving them other outlets for these very normal adolescent.

00:59:52

Speaker2

Behavior adolescents are also egocentric, they're all about themselves, and they see things from their perspective, and it's so important that we, as parents, are willing to step into their shoes and see things from their perspective, because if we're just saying you need to do this, you need to do that. No, you can't do this. No, you can't do that, then they're not going to be able to hear us and they're not going to think that we get it. And so, you know, I go back to I was talking about steps for problem solving the teen years. It's so important to provide them with some sort of control so they're not trying to control things we don't want them to control and introducing them to these problems, if you see that they are not carrying their epinephrine when they're supposed to or that they aren't asking about ingredients, maybe they're feeling shy, you remember sdolescence is about social development, what their friends think is very important, and there are specific parts of the brain that are honed in to behave in a different kind of way when their peers around. And so if it's hard asking about ingredients, hard doing different things, really problem-solving with them? Ok, say the problem.

01:01:01

Speaker2

What's the problem? Mom, I don't feel comfortable speaking up in those circumstances. Ok, what are potential solutions? Ok? I could be there with you. We can pack you food. We could make sure you eat ahead of time. We could have a chef card so that you don't have to say it. You can just hand it to the waiter. We could look at the menu together ahead of time, so you know exactly what you want to do. I'll call ahead for you and then let them pick what makes the most sense. Mom, I don't want you to come with me. I don't want you there. I want to do these things on my own. So really including them in the process is so important at this stage. Other things that are important staying ahead of the curve. Teens are going to hit certain milestones. They are going to be interested in romantic relationships, most likely at some point. And you want to be having these conversations about things like kissing and speaking up about your allergens, things like that prior to when they're happening. So you want to be ahead of the curve as far as having these conversations so that they already have the information. And once you get there, you're doing a lot of problem solving and checking in rather than also trying to provide them with the information.

01:02:20

Speaker2

And typically, you know, tweens want to know how tweens feel so they still think you kind of know something, so they want the information that you're giving them. And so staying ahead of the curve, including them in the process, making it concrete. Ok. Adolescence is all about going from abstract thinking, concrete facing, abstract thinking, concrete thinking, and eventually they land in abstract land. But knowing that they're going back and forth, trying to keep things really concrete for them also and discrete so that it's not that everybody's not seeing it. Finding a way to do that with them. Demonstrating your belief that they can handle this, giving them the tools and then not undermining their confidence by constantly asking them if they're sure that they can handle it, suggesting that maybe they don't want to go. Different things that we accidentally do as parents that really undermine our kids' confidence is  because we're questioning them and we don't mean to do it. But we are so demonstrating that you have confidence that they will go out there, that you guys have talked about it, that they're going to do this, that they have your number. If anything comes up, they know what to do. They have that. They can do this because you've supplied them with the information they need. And then and I think this goes along with what I just said, managing your own anxiety so that it is not spilling it on them.

01:03:38

Speaker1

It's fine, I know that we're slightly over, but we have two more excellent questions that I would very much like to ask you. Everyone, your questions are really, really good tonight. We're getting a lot of questions about dreading an emergency. Some folks have had an emergency with their child and are dreading having another one. And then some folks have not had an emergency yet, but are really, really afraid that they sort of won't be able to perform up to expectations when the emergency happens. Administer the epinephrine act cool and calm and collected. A lot of times we talk at Backstop about how to kind of debrief about it with your child. But how do you debrief about these things with yourself?

01:04:30

Speaker2

Yeah. Yeah. Anaphylactic reaction is really scary, it is really scary for parents, and many times the tsunami of emotions that comes after it is very overwhelming and not necessarily expected, and it can really come washing down. The guilt, the what ifs, the fear, all of that can come through. And so, there's a lot to how to manage our feelings afterwards, I think one of the first things is really allowing ourselves to feel all these things. A lot of times we initially just want to push through and do the next thing, but there really does have to be space to let it wash over you because that guilt, that guilt can be really big because it's our job to protect our kids, and allowing ourselves the space to process those feelings, whether it is talking to somebody, talking to our tribe, finding someone to tell the story and get that support around it. You know, there are times where giving an epinephrine shot can be a really frightening experience, especially if you had a situation where your child may have been hurt or they were moving. With the young kids, you do have to hold them. And certainly people have talked about their child getting hurt or getting bruised, or just the terror of having to inject your child with a needle can be really upsetting and hard to think about, what am I going to be able to do this again? And the first thing I like to say to parents is, I mean, it is…

01:06:27

Speaker2

I want to commend them that you've done it in the first place, if we're talking about parents who had been through this, who have had to give their child an epinephrine shot that have been through this and that growth mindset that you did it and and you were able to do it and that you were able to do that for your child and that you got through that situation and that it may have been messy, but you you accomplish that. And how do you then start to set yourself up after you process some of those really intense emotions in order to do it? You know, the word that comes to mind is better, but it's not better, you got through it before, but whether to do it in the way that you might have in mind of how you'd like to see it happen so that there isn't as much of the emotional intensity around fear around giving the shot? I always tell people that I mean, giving the shot, the actual the epinephrine going into your child's body does not hurt your child. Yes, the needle, the needle can be painful. The needle hurts and it's hard. But it really is lifesaving medicine and it's not going to hurt your child. And one of the things, we once gave our child epinephrine for a migraine, which is not what you're supposed to do.

01:07:52

Speaker2

But we had mistaken the migraine for a reaction, and we ended up giving him an epinephrine shot because he had this migraine, he vomited, it was after eating. There were lots of things that suggested that this could be an allergic reaction. And in the end, both the allergist and the emergency room doctor said they were pretty sure it was a migraine, not an allergic reaction. But I tell that story because the epinephrine did not hurt our child. The needle was uncomfortable, but giving the shot, it was once again the brain survival, it's far better to act on a potential danger than to assume safety where there is not safety. And so I always try to encourage parents to hold on to that piece that this is the critical part of this to give that reaction. And there are things that you can do ahead of time to practice. And I think that practice is so important being able to give that shot so that you're not trying to figure it all out in the moment. Once again, adrenaline is pumping. It cuts off that processing part of the brain where you're learning and figuring things out, you should practice it, you should know your child's plan and you should practice it and practice it and practice it so that if you get in that situation, it's almost like, OK, I know the steps that I need to do.

01:09:18

Speaker2

It's hard, though, and it takes a while afterwards to deal with the emotional turmoil that comes for those parents that haven't had a reaction but are terrified of a reaction happening and will they act fast enough or will they act and actually give the shot? I give the same advice that, practice it. Know that the epinephrine itself is not going to harm your child, that it is that lifesaving drug. And in addition to that, a lot of people think, OK, if I give the epinephrine shot, I have to go to the emergency room. And that's not why you're going to the emergency room. You're going to the emergency room because your child had a severe enough reaction that made you think that you needed to give that epinephrine shot. So the reaction, epinephrine shot, in the ER. It's not the fact that you had the reaction and gave the epinephrine that means you need to go to the E.R.. And I think that's a piece, too, that sometimes parents get worried that this means that this is bad. No, this is medicine that can help even if your child's not having a reaction and they're just having a migraine. This is medicine that helps. That is the quickest way to help your child during an allergic reaction. So learn practice, practice, practice, practice so that in those moments, you know exactly what to do. Even if your heart is pounding and you're worried that you're not sure.

01:10:52

Speaker1

That's really good advice, I should also say that in the free Backstop app, there's a lot of questions about how to identify anaphylaxis. There is a really great SOS feature that has a little decision tree in it, where you can quickly identify what is anaphylaxis and what is not. You can also share that with caregivers for free. Grandparents, aunts, babysitters, coaches. So I can't recommend downloading the app enough. Our very last question that I am squeezing in front is which I just think it's so good. A lot of us are co parents and some of us are parents. Some are not, but a lot of us have really be in lockstep and in close negotiation with another adult as we're caring for our child. So we've got a couple of people talking about, you know, I'm sort of more anxious. One parent says she can be controlling, but you know, unless you have another parent who is, quote, cool as a cucumber or laid back. What happens when you come at this challenge with two different attitudes? As co-parents.

01:12:11

Speaker2

Yes, lots of thoughts on that, and you know, I'll start off with a point that I made before is that sometimes if we're holding a high level of anxiety that almost sends the parent or other parent in the opposite direction of being that cool cucumber, that doesn't always happen. But sometimes you can see that dynamic happening where one person is holding all the anxiety about a situation. The other person is like, Oh, it'll be OK, we've got it. And in those situations, I like to talk about how can you share the anxiety and concern, which means that parent that's got all the anxiety that might be the parent that has a lot of the control may need to let go of some of that and give it to the other parent, which can be really hard if the other parent is cool as a cucumber and you're worried about whether they really get it or not. So then it gets to how do you how do you have that exchange of information? One of the things that I throw out there is that for a lot of families, there's a primary parent that attends all the doctor's appointments and my family that's usually me. I'm usually the one to go to all of the doctor appointments. However, I am mindful that it's really important that the other parent or the other caregiver sometimes goes to the appointments and has a conversation with the medical professional about the different things that's being said about what's happening so that they can get the information firsthand and they can fill in any gaps that they have about caring for their child and how the food allergies work.

01:13:58

Speaker2

And so that's what are different ways that this can be shared this this managing of food allergies and gathering the information. This is also the case around advocacy. Ok. Sometimes it'll be one parent that's doing all of the advocacy, and they're holding all of that. And how can this be shared? How can the other parent be involved in that? Because sometimes, not sometimes. Typically, we all have our strengths and some things I'm strong at and some things the other parent may be strong at. And you really not only want to play to those strengths, but you want other people to come in and have the opportunity to speak up and make a point across. And using that so involving, you know, depending on how lifestyles are separated, it may not be something that can regularly be done, but it may need to be done on a periodic basis so that other parent is involved with and knowledgeable about all the different components that are happening. I think another piece that I'll throw out there that people have written about is many times the primary parent is carrying the emotional load of the household. All the things that need to be done, all the worries, all of the like, I got to call this camp and that camp and I made a list of questions that I need to ask the camp and I need to ask them about this and this camp holds this.

01:15:26

Speaker2

This camp holds this. This camp is really great because they don't have nuts and my kid has a nut allergy, but they don't seem to be, you know, they don't seem to care that much about allergies. But this camp is great with allergies. So we're holding all of this emotional stuff that our partner doesn't know about. And how do you inform them of that load? Because sometimes it's easier to just carry it and do those things than really letting the other person know that there is all this stuff that I'm carrying. There's all this stuff that's going on and letting them into all of those different challenges that are happening so that they have some perspective of what's going on. The other piece of that is sometimes giving some of that to them. Ok, can you call these places and ask this question and start these conversations? And then I can take that information and decide, OK, which places do I want to follow up on? So how can you include other parents in that so that they have some experience with the challenges and with what can happen and with some of the things that people say that actually does stir us up and make us think like, Oh, OK, I'm even more anxious now that I'm dealing with this person, and I feel like this isn't a safe place that they understand what that process is because it does have a different kind of emotional impact.

01:16:45

Speaker2

And so that's one way, I think, to help manage that. I think another way is to be reflecting on whether there are ways that those differences show up around food allergies, but really aren't about food allergies. Sometimes we're talking about a particular thing with our parents or with our spouse, and we're not on the same page. We're really not on the same page because there are other issues going on that we aren't at the same page about that. We really need to communicate about what's going on with us in a larger kind of way. How do we communicate with one another? What do we say? What are some of the ground rules that we say? Are we making little snide comments that imply that the other person doesn't know what they're doing and they feel like, OK, well, I don't. So you just do it. So really being real with ourselves about what's happening here, how we can reflect upon that, how we can bring them in, how we can rein ourselves in if we're the anxious, controlling one and finding ways to balance it and and work together. So those are the kind of first things that I like to throw out on that topic.

01:17:56

Speaker1

Really good. Really good, everyone. Your questions have been so good tonight and we're unfortunately not going to get to all of them. I know that a lot of folks have kids to put to bed. I certainly have two kids that I need to go put to bed. We want to be mindful of everyone's time. So we're going to wrap, but we want to thank you all so much for giving us some of your time on a Sunday night, on a school night. We also want to thank our wonderful, fearless leader and expert, Dr. Fawn McNeil-Haber, for her fantastic presentation and answering all of our questions tonight. Today's session gave us a lot to think about, a lot to sort through. If you want to continue to explore some of these issues and how to fold some of these concepts into your everyday life. There is a place to do that. We have small group huddles at Backstop. You can go to getbackstop.com/events, and you can see all of the upcoming huddles there and sign up, and we will be doing these webinars every couple of weeks. So please stay tuned for the next one. And we just thank you for joining us and being part of our tribe. So have a wonderful evening and take care.

Up next

Navigating Anxiety in Food Allergy Parenting Today

Course Lessons

Food Allergy Anxiety in Kids: What Parents Can Do to Address It
Food Allergy Anxiety in Kids: What Parents Can Do to Address It
How to Find Your Footing: Reducing Anxiety as a Food Allergy Parent
How to Find Your Footing: Reducing Anxiety as a Food Allergy Parent
Navigating Anxiety in Food Allergy Parenting Today
Navigating Anxiety in Food Allergy Parenting Today
Growth Mindset: Moving Forward After an Allergic Reaction
Growth Mindset: Moving Forward After an Allergic Reaction
Food Allergies at School: What Your Pediatrician Wants You to Know
Food Allergies at School: What Your Pediatrician Wants You to Know