Anxiety tips

Today I want to talk to you about anxiety in our children and give you a checklist that I use in my everyday life as a Mother..

Anxiety tips

Causes of anxiety.
Some children can be more likely to be anxious about things in their lives because it is an inherited trait (just like their hair colour). Some children also learn to think or behave anxiously by watching and learning from other people in their lives. Certain things in a child’s environment can also contribute to a child’s anxiety level, like a niggling fear or an annoying brother / sister or pressures from school.

It is Ok to feel anxious.
The first and most important point iI want to say is that it is okay if a child feels a little anxious about a situation. I know anxiety is a feeling that i often feel as an adult in certain situations, so of course my children will feel the very same way, it would be unrealistic of me to think that they would not. The only difference is that over many years I have dealt with my anxiety and I have learnt many tips and ways to cope and feel more confident and assured within myself. Our children are still learning how to deal with their own anxieties which is something that could possibly take them years to do (unfortunately there is no quick fix!) but together by sharing our tips we can help our children to learn from us and our successes and mistakes.

Anxiety checklist.
Wait until your child becomes anxious before you intervene in a situation, do not preempt the situation with your own anxieties about the situation. But when possible, discuss coping strategies with them before a common anxious event occurs. (see below).
Acknowledge your child’s anxiety, do not dismiss or ignore it.
Assure your child that they are ok and safe.
Talk to your child about coping strategies, like taking a breath, believing in themselves, telling themselves that they can do it.
Have a drink of water (if available).
Encourage your child to feel satisfied for doing something that they are anxious about, rather than criticising or focusing on being anxious.
Avoid labelling your child as ‘anxious’ or ‘shy’.
Ensure your child is getting enough sleep and that there diet is not high in sugar. (more about these two topics will be explored in future blogs).

Coping Strategies
I have found that when dealing with my anxious pre teen daughter who is terrified of public speaking, I talk to her a lot about it before the event occurs. I talk to her about:
That I (even to this day) get anxious wheneverI need to public speak, so it is okay to feel anxious – it is a positive as it means that she cares about how she will go.
That almost everyone has anxiety about public speaking, just some of us hide it better than others.
Encourage her lots.
Where possible have lots of practice runs or role plays before the event.
Slowly slowly we will over come her anxiety, although she still has a lot of work to do to improve her public speaking.

Please send through your comments and tips on how you deal with your own or child’s anxiety. We can all learn and grow from one another.

Until the next blog, enjoy your children.

Debbie
xo

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