Is your child dealing with feelings of anxiety? You might be searching for some parenting tips to help them feel better. While you may have already taken certain steps, like looking into homeopathic anti anxiety meds or exemplifying positive self talk examples for kids, handling child anxiety can be difficult, especially if you haven’t experienced anxiety before yourself. To ensure you create a healthy environment for your child, here are some tips to follow.
1. Keep Your Discussion Questions as Open-Ended as Possible
When your child comes to you with questions about situations or activities that make them anxious, you want to avoid steering them into certain answers with your response. For instance, rather than posing a leading question like, “Are you nervous about this?”, you can keep it open-ended and simply ask them to describe how them feel.
2. Discuss a Possible Need for Medication With Your Pediatrician
While talking through a situation may be enough for some kids, others may require natural anxiety medication for children to feel their best. This varies depending on the child, so you may want to bring the issue up with your pediatrician at your next visit.
3. Model Healthy Coping Behavior in the Home
Young children often imitate what they see, so modeling good coping behavior in the home can set a positive example for them that they may pick up on and internalize. Some healthy behaviors you can demonstrate to your child include:
- Avoiding irrational escalation of fears or overreactions
- Talking through your fears calmly
- Practicing healthy coping mechanisms like going for a walk, writing in a journal or taking some self-care time
4. Keep an Encouraging Tone and Avoid Reinforcing Your Child’s Anxieties
It’s only natural to feel concerned when your child starts to express anxieties, but it’s important to avoid reinforcing these anxieties. For instance, try not to express fears about a certain situation yourself. Instead, maintain a positive and encouraging tone that could help them calm down.
5. Don’t Steer Away From Anxiety-Provoking Activities Entirely
As a parent, it might be your first instinct to keep your child shielded from any activities that could potentially provoke their anxiety. While this strategy may work in the short term and may sometimes even be necessary to keep the child calm in an extreme situation, this is not the best approach for the long run. By avoiding any anxiety-provoking activities, you could be unwittingly reinforcing their fears and failing to equip them with the coping tools they need to face their fears and overcome their anxiety. Instead, look for gentle, healthy ways to slowly ease them into these activities. Try to help talk them through their fears and help them understand that nothing is as scary as it may seem.
Helping an anxious child cope can be a difficult task, especially if you haven’t experienced similar anxiety yourself. However, the best possible environment for children to start dealing with their anxiety is one that is loving, open and supportive. By taking these parenting tips, you can help your child work through his or her fears and overcome them to become a strong and resilient adult.