People - that includes children - getting anxious is a part of development. It is one of the common symptoms of childhood and adolescence. They grow up and develop their “survival skills” as they face the challenges coming in their way. While we all have different ways of coping different level of stress, some are just naturally anxious compared to others, and quicker in getting stressed or worried. As a parent, it is our responsibility to take care of the mental health of our children and to protect them from their fears.
Here are the psychologist Sunshine Coast pointers for parents whose children are experiencing anxiety.
Face your fear not run from it
When facing a difficult situation, especially our fears, we tend to avoid them. However, shunning away from anxiety-provoking situations would make anxiety remain. Telling and encouraging them to face what frightens them would reduce their anxiety levels naturally in its own time, and they can learn from it. The body can’t remain anxious for a long time. Usually, anxiety lessens within 20-40 minutes if they stay in anxiety-provoking situations. You can also talk to them about anxiety, what is happening to their body, and why it happens, for many children and young people don’t know what they feel when they’re anxious. It can be very frightening or overwhelming to them.
It’s okay to be imperfect
For us parents, we want our children to succeed in life. But sometimes, we forget that kids need to be kids. Schools become grade-driven, not by the enjoyment of learning they get from school. Encourage your child to work hard, but it is equally important to let them embrace their mistakes and imperfections. Give your children the confidence that they can manage it as they face their fears. This gives them the confidence that your expectations are realistic, that you’re not asking them to do certain things they can’t handle.
Anxious and stressed children can get lost and drown from negative thoughts and self-criticism. Telling them that it will be okay, and the anxiety will pass. The more you encourage them to focus on positive attributes and the good aspects of a situation, the more it will remind the child to focus on the positives.
Finding the calm on chaos
Children need time to relax and be kids. Unfortunately, parents misunderstood fun as a hindrance to a child's success. Instead, as a parent, let your children engage in play where it is purely for the sake of fun. This may include scheduling a day for your child to play with toys, with his friends or even engaging them on yoga sessions, painting.
Be a role model
As a parent, it is our role to be a good example to our children, for your child will do what you do. So if you’re avoiding an anxiety-provoking situation, so will your child. If you know how to face your fears, so will your child. If you take good care of yourself and knows how to handle your schedules, your children will learn from it. Self-care is the most important. If you are into positive thoughts, so will your child. Children learn their behaviours from their parents. So when you think of your child’s well-being, you should think about your own as well.
For more information, contact us and our team of clinical psychologist Sunshine Coast will attend to your queries.