We are living in times of uncertainty, and that uncertainty in the world can lead to anxiety. Anxiety happens to all of us but what do we do when it happens to our children. How do you help an anxious child? In this post we aim to bring you a few tips that can help you and your kids during times of anxiety and stress.
Bring your kids a sense of calm
This is the most obvious suggestion, but what does this really entail? Think about it. How often do our kids get tense, and we get tense. Or they shout and we shout. It can be easy to mirror sentiments in a negative aspect, but we also need to set the example and do it in reverse.
Our kids follow our lead much more than we think, so making a conscious effort to keep things as calm as possible for them is a big deal. The physical symptoms of anxiety can be very distressing for children, so giving them a reassuring hug can help them feel safe while those feelings pass.
Work on grounding techniques
Grounding is a mindfulness technique that can teach your child to focus on the moment and take their mind off the negative feelings they are feeling. Breathing exercises are very helpful, but depending on the age of your child it may not be that simple to achieve a state of deep, slow breaths. One recommendation is to blow bubbles. This way your kids can take slow deep breaths and do so in a way that works for them.
Aonther technique is the 5,4,3,2,1 technique. Have your child tell you:
- 5 things they see,
- 4 things they hear,
- 3 things they feel,
- 2 things they smell,
- 1 thing they taste.
This allows them to focus on their senses and helps them be more in the moment.
Face the fear
This isn’t easy, but it can be worth to have your child face the fear. If their anxiety is triggered by school, for example, have your child tell you exactly what their worst case scenario is. It can be anxiety during a project, or stammering during a speech. Whatever it may be you can talk it out with them and have them tell you what it is they fear as the worst case scenario. Once they open up about that it is easy to work and find solutions as to how to face that worst case scenario.
Facing this can break down the fear of the problem and make it more manageable.
We hope that these tips have helped you find a way to help your child cope with anxiety, whatever the cause may be. Of course, if you feel it is a more severe or serious case then get medical advice.
We have many resources to teach you how to help an anxious child. Check out some of these posts below;
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