Creative Child

Three Ways to Help Anxious Children

by Rebecca Eanes on Oct 27th, 2017

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Be proactive about coping skills.

Worries come in all sizes, and there are lots of good techniques that children can be taught for handling their worries. There are several books on the market specifically written for children to help with anxiety. I’m currently working through What To Do When You Worry Too Much by Dawn Huebner with my child. Your child may benefit from a book, journal, breathing technique, meditation, aromatherapy, exercise, talk therapy, or one of the many other options out there. The key is to tackle the anxiety head-on and not let it be a taboo subject that is ignored as ignoring true anxiety doesn’t make it go away. Kids need sensible solutions for managing their stress and worry levels, so work with your child to find the solution that’s right for them. If the worries get too big and the anxiety starts to have an impact on daily living, seek the help of a professional counselor.

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Don’t Avoid Triggers Altogether

My first thought when my son started having anxiety before middle school was to go back to homeschooling. As a mom, I want to erase the difficulties from his life and make sure that he never has to deal with a bad situation, but I know that’s a fantasy. Life is sometimes hard, and the best thing I can do for him right now is to help him learn to cope with the difficulties he is dealt. I know in the long-run that will bring him more happiness than avoiding all stressors now.

Rather than avoiding everything that makes your child anxious, take baby steps toward overcoming it and celebrate each success. Homework has been a huge stressor as my boy gets easily overwhelmed. As much as I wish I could change the homework policy, I do believe pushing through it is helping him develop grit and resilience for the next big thing. So, we take homework in chunks. Renee Jain, creator of GoZen.com’s anxiety relief programs for kids recommends a method called laddering which is gradual exposure to reach mini-goals in order to get closer to the bigger goal. She advises using each step until the exposure becomes too easy and then moving to the next rung on the ladder.

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of positive-parents.org and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.

 

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