High expectations, less face-time with parents can leave today’s kids stressed
12 Tips to help ease your child’s anxiety:
- Listen to your child’s thoughts/feelings
- Don’t downplay/laugh at a child’s fears. Let them know everyone has fears and it’s possible to “boss back” fears.
- Constant reassurance prevents children from learning to cope. Instead, encourage coping strategies (calm breathing or challenging scary thoughts).
- Don’t let a child’s anxiety make you think something is too difficult. It might be challenging, but the child can do it. Acknowledge the anxiety, or a child may hide/intensify symptoms to get attention.
- Help the child break down goals into smaller steps. Don’t push too fast; let the child pick his own pace.
- Anxious kids try to duck stressful situations. Encourage them to take small steps toward facing fears.
- Anxious children need to try new things and take some risks to build confidence and life skills.
- Acknowledge a child’s attempt at facing her fears.
- A child with anxiety problems does not have a green light for inappropriate behaviours. Set expectations/deliver consequences.
- Curb excessive stress and tension in the home (arguing, too many activities).
- Set specific times for meals, homework, quiet time and bed.
- Give yourself some time out from the anxious child. React neutrally to situations.
from AnxietyBC (anxietybc.com)