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What To Do About Anxiety

Children and teens have it hard these days.  We can no longer say “you have it so easy, back in my day…..”   We didn’t have social media, constantly evolving school technology, or a global pandemic that essentially cut us off from our friends and activities for months on end.  We may have had to walk 2 miles uphill to school or had to wait a whole week to watch our favorite TV show,  but we didn’t have to wear masks to school that serve as a constant reminder that life is different for the time being.  Being mindful of how our children are experiencing today’s world is essential in parenting anxious children. Our goal is to support, but not solve.  We want to help our children move through their anxiety so they feel like they are empowered and not paralyzed by the fear that things will not get better.  So how exactly do we do that?

 

 

  • Set up a dedicated time everyday to talk to your child. You can label it “us time” or “talking time” or simply casually make a point to talk every day at a certain time.  This communication will help you be aware of any new worries and will help your children have a safe place to share.  It also will help prevent them from worrying all day because they can “save it for talking time.”
  • Be Careful Not to Create their Anxiety.  Avoid asking leading questions such as, ‘Are you worried about what’s going to happen on the first day of school?’ As an alternative, give them room to explore their own feelings, ‘What are your thoughts about going back to school full time?’
  • Teach Your Child to Problem Solve. Do Not Overprotect or Eliminate all Anxiety Triggers. If your child learns to think about worries as a problem they are facing, it will empower him or her to work through the problem instead of getting stuck in the cycle of constant worry about the situation at hand.    

 

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