Child Anxiety: 3 Tips To Help Your Child Today

“Mom, I am going to fail!  I can’t do this!”  “Mom, this needs to be perfect, or it isn’t right.”  “Mom, I don’t want to do that right now.  I’m not feeling good.”   Do you hear these phrases in your house too?  Stop what you are doing and let me grab your attention because these phrases are warning signs!  These phrases can be the onset of ANXIETY.

Anxiety is not a phase!  Helping your child early can make a huge difference later when they become young adults.

Anxiety is NOT just feeling nervous or worrying.  Anxiety is NOT just nail-biting or tapping your pencil on the desk.  Anxiety comes in many forms!  It is trouble concentrating, trouble sleeping, avoiding, loss of appetite, increased irritability, restlessness, overeating, feelings of guilt, and shame. Anxiety can be perfectionism or procrastination.  The list goes on.   Anxiety is so much more than many realize because everyone shows anxiety a little differently.Child Anxiety

In its basic form, anxiety is when your child starts to worry consistently, and the worrying becomes a habit.  Once a behavior becomes a habit, we begin to lose control of what we are doing.  Our body goes into auto-mode instead.  With anxiety, our mind tells our body that there is danger near, and anxiety kicks in to protect ourselves.   Worry sets in and makes our body want to flee and escape the situation or avoid the threat.  The problem is that many times there is no danger and really your mind is talking untruthfully to you.

So how can we help our kids avoid getting into the anxiety trap?  We need to help them change their mindset and how they think.  This is not easy.  If their minds are trying to protect them from danger, then we must reprogram their brains not to overreact to false threats.  Teaching kids to control their thoughts will result in them also learning to control their actions!  I offer a course that will help you and your child walk through what is needed to really get results. However, if you follow me consistently, you also know- I will not leave you hanging with no answers today!  Here are some things you can do right now to help your child start retaking control of their body!Child Anxiety

Child Anxiety Tip #1 Teach them to count backward when they start to feel those butterflies in their stomach.  The idea here is to activate the prefrontal cortex (or the logical side) of the brain.  This is done by stopping the emotional thought that causes the onset of anxiety and doing something like counting backward.   There are several other techniques you can use but counting back 5-4-3-2-1 is one of the easiest methods.   Then, once the counting is done, tell your child to finish this sentence: “I am excited to _____________,” and think of a happy thought.  The objective is to train your child to stop the negative thoughts that make them anxious and refocus.  The negative thoughts will not go away, but the goal is not to let worry take over entirely and stabilize the body’s reaction to worry by providing the brain with alternative positive thoughts.

Child Anxiety Tip #2 Don’t minimize their feelings by saying things such as, “Everything is fine.  Just calm down” or “You’re overreacting.”  Instead, start asking questions!  Keep asking questions that will force your child to evaluate their thinking and debunk their irrational thoughts.  For example, you can ask.

  • What evidence do you have that something terrible is going to happen?
  • What is the probability of the unfortunate happening?
  • What can you do to ensure that nothing bad will happen?

Keep asking questions while you go for a little walk, to activate their logical thinking again.

Child Anxiety Tip #3 Praise your child wildly for their achievements, for being brave, and staying in control of their emotions.   Point out their successes! To gain confidence and replace their unwanted habit of worry with confidence, your child will have to repeatedly control their thoughts.  Practice and repetition are how they will build their new habit.Child Anxiety

I wish that eliminating anxiety was as easy as 3 simple steps, but it is not.  For more comprehensive support and help, check out The Behavior Management Course: Helping Children Control Big Emotions.   I offer a FREE webinar that talks about the course and gives you the step by step framework you need to start seeing change!  Plus- just for taking the time to watch the video, I also include a FREE PDF called 20 Ways to Cope.   These 20+ coping techniques are researched and tested to work for helping kids with anxiety.   This is my gift to you so you can start helping your kids right away, even if you find the course is not for you.

Help your child overcome their anxiety today!

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