In a world obsessed with results, anxiety is commonplace. Children are easy prey of this dangerous affliction as their minds are yet to develop the strength and maturity needed to deal with it. A parent with the most advancement can also add to their child’s anxiety, even if all they wish to do is protect them.
We always ask our kids to calm down when they are exasperated or are storming out of their rooms while banging the door on your face. The general thought we have for our children is that ‘they are growing up’ or having ‘hormonal changes’ and avoid the whole reason as to why they acted the way they did. Instead of asking them to act serene, we could guide them in the right direction.
This illustrated guide might be a helpful source to start.
1. Aim should be to help your child control anxiety- not
get rid of it
Once a child learns how to live with distress and have full control over it, the anxiety in time decreases. One should not force a child to let go of it, instead teach them to control their reaction to things. Once they learn how to stay calm even in the toughest of situations and not react to everything in a very aggravated manner, they learn to control their thoughts.
2. Try to stay peaceful when your child has an anxious
A parent needs to remain calm and composed when their child is getting concerned. Children get agitated quite easily. Not to add to their irritation, one must stay very composed and listen to what they have to say. If you react to their anxious reaction in a not very balmy way, they might distance themselves from you. They may think you want the worst for them or that you will never understand how they feel even if that is not the case.
3. Alter your expectations
Under traumatic periods, keeping high expectations from a child will lead to no good on their part. Expectations can vary from parent to parent. The first kind starts when a parent demands success academically from a child. He or she, in most cases, cannot handle all the pressure hence leading them to make decisions like cheating that are quite harmful to them as well as the parents. You should allow a child to cope with academics at their own pace. Too much pressure and expectations
from a child of any manner can escalate their worry.
4. Notice and applaud small achievements
When a child is rewarded for their smallest of achievements, it boosts their confidence. They do not feel undervalued. Noticing and recognizing their little achievements them from time to time elevates their confidence level. If no one does that, all they will feel is lonely. Appreciation and love will help them have a more positive approach to life.
5. Do not avoid things just because they drive your child
If your child is afraid of something, don’t make them avoid it. It may give him temporary relaxation, but it induces the concern in the long run. Instead, teach them how to face such situations. If your child gets anxious in uncomfortable situations, removing them from it will make them think that it doesn’t exist. In that case, when they face those circumstances again, the anxiety will kick in; it will become like a coping mechanism for them.
6. Do not continue with a lot of questions
Try and cheer your child. Make them talk about their feelings to you and listen to them open-mindedly until they complete venting their emotions. Sometimes it essential to prove your child that you are not as judgemental and strict as they think you are.
Asking your child about how they are feeling is a good thing, but don’t make it evident that you are trying to question them about being apprehensive. This may make them conscious about it. For example, if you ask them questions like “Are you anxious/worried about your Maths test?”, it would make them all the more anxious and worried about it. Instead, reframe your question and ask “How are you feeling about your Maths test?”.
It would avoid the feeling of worry and make them think through about their preparation.
7. Think twice when it comes to your child
Several kids have separation anxiety which I am sure a lot of you have heard. It is more likely to happen to kids when they are separate from their parents. It usually lasts for about 10 to 18 months. So, in that case, we need to make things easier on a child’s wit.
If a new staff who is a stranger to your child comes to receive them, then you must teach both the staff and your child a code which only both know. This will make sure your child knows that the stranger was sent to them by their parent. It assures your little one and calms them. If you are late to pick them up, make sure your child does not panic and reaches out to a trusted senior. It could be their teacher.
8. Infuse healthy habits to handle anxiety
A child learns what he hears
or sees. Consequently, the child must hear positive things. If you as a parent
cry about not being able to handle life, your child will also weaken. You need
not pretend or act differently in front of them but show them how to manage it
with calmness and tolerate with feeling good as they go through life.
9. Deep breathing
Practice deep breathing with your child every day. It’s one habit that every parent should teach their kids very early on in life. If they practice deep breathing every day, it will with time calm their minds, hence, decrease their anxiousness a lot. Not only for kids but also adults, deep breathing is vital as our lives are full of bustle. It brings a huge difference in your little one’s mental well-being and improves their mental health.
10. Do not whisk off therapy
If you have tried everything possible by you and nothing is changing the mental health of your child- seeking remedy is something you should not feel ashamed of. We are in the 21st century, where quite a lot of importance is set to mental health than before.
When you begin to see symptoms of anxiety in a child, it is better to take precautions or seek help as soon as possible before things get worse. Sometimes the solution you cannot offer your child, a therapist can. A therapist knows the exact words to use for a child which even the most well-meaning parents do not. So, seeking therapy might help your child to understand themselves and what they want or what triggered this in them. You can also go for parent and child counselling sessions with child therapists.