Is your child feeling anxious?

How do you react when your child is feeling anxious? Do you say something like: “Don’t worry, it will all be Ok?”

Most people would say something along those lines. It’s reasonable, you want to comfort your child and make the feeling of anxiety go away as quickly as possible. However, what that teaches your child though is to suppress unwanted feelings, rather than deal with them. Allowing the child to deal with their feelings by examining them more closely and accepting them as something that is Ok, will teach the child that uncomfortable feelings are not scary and they will go away again.

Some tips how to help your child deal with anxiety:

  1. Ask your child to tell you more about what is worrying them.
  2. Ask them how big is their worry.
  3. Ask where in their body they feel their worry.
  4. Ask “What would you like to tell your worry”
  5. Encourage your child to draw the worry.
  6. Explore with your child a different ending to their worry.
  7. Ask your child what he/she needs from you right now.
  8. Assure the child that the feeling will pass.

Taking this approach will show your child how to manage their emotions and that emotions are not “good or bad” they just come, and they go again. There is no need to be scared of them.