Anxiety is a normal emotion in human beings that is closely associated with fear. Often anxiety in children can be overlooked because the tender age they are in, makes them anxious. But sometimes children find it difficult to express their feelings and hide their anxiety. It may have adverse reactions like depression and anger. Here we have given some tips to deal with anxiety in young children.
Provide soothing and comforting strategies
Studies say that 15% of children are born with a natural anxiety temperament. As the kids grow, they experience some more fears like social acceptance, their achievements, career, etc. Sometimes family history may also contribute to this problem. So adopting and implementing some soothing strategies will give solace to your child. These will communicate to your child, your care and concern. Some time simple actions like rocking, cuddling, massage, holding his/her hands can provide immense confidence to the child. It might be too “babyish” for you but it means a lot to your child. Verbal assurances also help you in these grounds and help your kid in relaxing and getting relieved from tension.
Help children identify feelings and provide chances to express their feelings
A helping hand from parents is very important to children suffering from anxiety. Some of the tips that can help such a child are as follows:
Helping your kid in observing different feelings by naming various feelings that humans generally feel, is an important step in dealing with the issue. Try to let him/her understand by facial expressions and patterns, the natural behavioral tendencies of people. Showing your feelings is an important way for others to understand what you feel.
Do not criticize your kid and let his sense of self weaken. if his feelings are questioned, he might get disturbed and he may push himself behind a mask and hide his feelings. Just let him express what he feels. All you need to do is acknowledge his feelings and if you find the right time, tell him how you can help him.
Routines and structure
Have a consistent time table that keeps your child very busy. This ensures that the child will not have any anxiety issues. This will also ensure a sense of control to the family. A disorganized life will always leave your child anxious. Provide him/her chances for regular exercise. This will keep the child healthy and happy. Let him/her play some outdoor games. Games are an important part of any child’s life. Provide good food and nurture him well. Having said all these, make sure you are not too authoritative and strict, this will only worsen the cause.
Respect your child’s feelings and model brave behavior
Generally kids feel insecure when their fears are snubbed by parents. Rather if the parents are willing to listen to his fears and understand him, the kid feels like sharing his problem with his parents. So, always listen to your child instead of asking him to stop being irrational.
When the kids are in an unfamiliar situation, they look for guidance. They look at their parents for cues and take them as an example in dealing with issues. Parents are the source for inspiration for kids. So, make sure that you have a strong personality and a confident demeanor when you are confronted with difficult situations.
So encourage your child to deal with situations that are out of his comfort zone by standing by his side.
Encourage âfeeling goodâ activities
You have to engage your child in activities they really enjoy when under stress and anxiety. Let them take up activities like playing with their favorite toy or a video game, etc. Encourage them if they are inclined towards arts and music, if they are interested in playing outside with their friends let them do that. Children will often need the assistance and attention of their parents to engage in these fun activities if they are anxious.
If they are not feeling confident, do not encourage those bad thoughts that depress them.
Your child should realize that the negative thoughts and the pessimistic approach is not going to help him in any way. Stay by his side and help him orienting in this direction. If he feels that he is hopeless, give him the confidence to face things boldly.
Tell him that he can get better by constant practice and that you can help him in what ever way possible.
Again remember that you should allow your child to express his negative thoughts no matter how long it takes, before he starts rectifying and facing problems.