The other night, on the car ride to picking up dinner, my daughter and I were talking. And she was getting snippy towards me. After some discussion in our short drive, I found out the problem. My 13 year old daughter was scared to buy a pizza.
I had asked her to come with me in order to buy the pizzas. She explained how she didn’t want to talk to the cashier. She was unsure of money interactions. She was straight up stressed out by something that everyone does on a daily basis. She began to show signs of anxiety.
Interactions like this between strangers shouldn’t be difficult. Our daughter has done purchases and sales at numerous conventions over the years- so it surprised me when she told me she was anxious that night. It never dawned on me that this was different. So we rehearsed what she needed to say, how much the pizza would be, and how much change should would get in return.
To ease her mind a bit, I explained that I’m also scared. I am absolutely terrified of going to Tokyo next month. I’ve never been to Tokyo. I’m not going alone either, but taking my wife and three kids. Not only am I going to be in a foreign country- no one I’m going with understands Japanese. Plus I will need to keep a close watch on the kids. Make sure they are staying nearby while we use the trains and travel the streets.
In the end, my daughter did fine buying a pizza. I was with her, but stayed off to the side. I didn’t interject, help or correct her in any way. Afterwards she admitted that it was easy. A little more practice and she won’t need to rehearse her interactions ahead of time. Hopefully she can overcome moments of anxiety on her own.
She enjoyed her pizza with a sense of relief. Although buying pizzas for larger groups is a pain and requires note taking and spreadsheets at the best of times. Just don’t tell her that yet. We need to work on baby steps.