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Don’t Minimize Your Child’s Anxiety

Do you ever wonder if you are communicating the “right” way with your anxious child? It can be really hard to know what to do to help your child when they are feeling anxious.  

Do you ever say, “calm down”, or “ don’t worry about it”, or “it’s no big deal”?

These seem like harmless things to say and they kinda seem helpful.  Except they aren’t to the anxious brain.

Statements like, don’t worry about it, minimize your child’s anxiety without acknowledging that your child is experiencing big feelings. 

Saying “don’t worry about it” immediately starts the anxious brain on a cycle of thinking about reasons why the worries are valid. Now your child feels like they have to convince you why they should be worried. 

Try using these phrases instead:

  • I know you are anxious about this….. (don’t forget to leave out the but…).
  • Let’s talk through your worry.
  • How can I help?
  • Let’s talk this out and find a solution.

These phrases not only de-escalate the anxiety, they provide an opportunity for your child to be empowered to work through their anxiety.  

Small tweaks to how you communicate can help your child grow in big ways.  

Try using these phrases today and let us know how they are working!

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Mom's Choice, ADDA, CHADD, ACO

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