How to alleviate your Child’s anxiety

when your child is anxious- Parenting resources by ZenParent

When we look at the success stories around us… M.S. Dhoni a.k.a Captain cool or even any of the tennis Grand slam champions; the factor that makes them stand apart is their cool demeanour and the ability to hold their nerves at the hour of reckoning. I am sure we have all felt that if only we could give our children that ability to stay cool; it would be a tremendous asset to their capabilities. So, is there anything we can do to reduce anxiety in our children?

1. It’s Normal: Tell your kids it’s normal for people to feel anxious in certain situations. A famous concert performer and a Grammy award winner Adele has mentioned in her interviews that she actually vomits due to high anxiety levels, right before they go on stage. Quote these examples to your child that anxiety is a normal human emotion that just has to be managed and overcome.

2. Model it: Research has shown that parents who are anxious and have a negative view of the world tend to pass on those views to their children as well. So if you are the anxious type, becoming aware of whether you are transferring those attitudes on to your child is the first step.

3. Step Back: Parents, sometimes, believe that if they removed the source of anxiety, their child would do better. We believe that we are supportive parents when we tell our children that they can talk to us anytime they are worried or scared.  But the flip side is they do not learn to cope with it themselves. Tell your kids “what is the worst that can happen” and talk them through the possible outcomes to show them that they are worried beyond realistic outcomes, and then allow them to deal with it themselves.

anxiety in children and dealing with them- Parenting resources by ZenParent

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4. Focus on the Positives: While it is natural for us to be extra critical with our children, it is important to focus on the positives to avoid sending our children into a pessimistic spiral. If your child is naturally anxious, help him look for the silver lining in any situation.

5. Appreciate the effort: It is not easy for anxious children to take a brave step. Appreciate their efforts to be brave and courageous in situations that have daunted them before. Gaining mastery over the mind is one of the most difficult things for a child to do.

6. Encourage Verbalisation: If your children are worried about something, have them express why they feel that way and see if you can alleviate their worries.Help them talk through it. Try not to be dismissive, call it silly or unnecessary. Their fears are very real to them.

7. Ask for solutions: If your kids have a problem and that they are extremely worried about, ask them how they would go about solving it instead of trying to solve it for them. This equips them with a skill to do this by themselves in the future instead of parents rescuing them.

8. Pranayama: If your child has chronic anxiety issues, learn a few Pranayama techniques and practice it with your child. Switch on some soothing music, close your eyes and practice breathing with your child. These are the tools they will be able to use as adults as well when they are stressed out.

As with many things in life, managing anxiety can also be a skill that can be practiced to achieve good results. The key is to consistently use a few techniques which seem to be working for your child. Lastly if it seems that anxiety is making your child dysfunctional, seek professional help to address the issue.

Click here to know how to cheer up your child when he’s sad.

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