The news and other occurrences around us are enough to make the calmest parent anxious and while some adults may have come up with strategies to work on overcoming their anxiety, children on the other hand will need lots of help to deal with the issues that expose them to these feelings of anxiety.
Here are a few tips you can employ to teach your children to manage their anxiety:
Connect with your child:
Children want to feel loved, safe and competent and we must be intentional in communicating this to them. Remind them that they are loved unconditionally, constantly reinforce the thought that you will ensure no harm comes to them and consistently cheer them on to show that you believe in their abilities regardless of outcomes.
Prepare your child for unknowns and contingencies:
Children love predictability just as adults do and so in situations where there could be changes to a child’s routine, you will do well to prepare your child ahead of time by talking to your child about the changes. Come up with creative and fun ways to introduce new activities to your child’s routine which helps with preparing them for changes beyond their control.
Model what you want to see:
In the face of an obvious fear, agitation or dissatisfaction, children easily pick up on our energy and emotions and could begin to show traits of what you have modelled knowingly or unknowingly. Though not easy, we must try to demonstrate calmness when we get not so pleasant or unsettling news as this has a lasting effect on how our children will respond when faced with similar circumstances now and in the future.
Anxiety is a natural human feeling that everyone experiences at some point in life and preparing our children to manage themselves when faced with circumstances that can trigger this feeling will help them pull through life successfully.
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