3 Strategies to Help an Anxious Child
Many kids worry simply because their minds take them to places where they are not able to go emotionally. They worry about the monsters under their beds, about failing an exam, about homework not handed in correctly, about going to boarding school, about the many things they can understand intellectually but not emotionally.
Children as young as three can get anxious. Parents who describe their kids as impatient, fussy and hard-to-soothe are the kids who are actually anxious. Many other kids who are happy-go-lucky may suddenly become anxious when they are 7 or 8 years old.
How can you tell if your preschool child is a worrier? If he or she constantly talks about his or her worries, you may have an anxious preschooler. I remember my daughter as a preschool child; she would always have loads of ‘what if’s’.
“What if my colouring is not right?”
“What if my teacher says my work is wrong?”
These are typical hypothetical questions your child may ask aloud and begin to worry about. He or she may become irritable too at times like these.
How can you help your anxious child? Here are three helpful strategies:
#1. You should not get caught up in his or her anxiety. Keep yourself out of the loop and stay objective. Support your child and stay calm. When you look calm, your child will be more likely to trust you and calm down. Assure your child that nothing is going to go wrong and that you are always with him or her to face problems. He or she will believe you when you say ot often enough.
#2. Gather your own tools too for when your child starts to worry. Teach your child some simple ways to calm down when faced with a worrying situation. You need these tools too, so that you can deal with the situation calmly.
#3. Track his or her anxiety on a daily basis. Note down his or her anxiety level using a scale of 1 to 10. On a weekly basis, see how all your techniques have helped him or her get better or worse. This way, you know what to do next. You will also know what triggers off the worry bell and how best to deal with it.