Children can get anxious just like adults. It’s very common, but although anxiety is a normal response to stressful situations, it can cause problems when it hits. For children, it can be very worrying and distressing.
So how should you deal with an over-anxious child? Here are some tips, along with some activities you can try.
Don’t Try to Beat It
Anxiety is not something that you can defeat. It’s something that you have to deal with. Don’t just tell your child that it’s all fine because although your intentions are good, it’s not the right solution.
Instead, tell them that you understand how they feel. If they know that you understand how they feel, they will start to feel better.
Try to normalize it and explain how it is a very common thing to feel, and that sometimes it comes along for no reason.
Explain what is behind anxiety, that lots of people get it, and that it is a natural response when your brain is trying to protect you if it thinks you are in danger. It relates to the fight or flight response, and it provides a boost in adrenaline and hormones when it thinks you are in danger.
Sometimes your brain gets it wrong and there is nothing to protect you from, and this is where anxiety arises. Once children understand what is going on, they are in a much better situation to deal with it.
Teach Them to Breathe Properly
Breathing is one of the best things that you can do when you suffer from anxiety. It’s very simple but very effective. Your breathing often becomes shallow when you suffer from anxiety. By breathing deeper, you will very quickly start to feel better.
Help them to practice slow, deep breathing on a regular basis. Do it before going to bed every night, and they will soon get more control over their anxiety.
Do Some Calming Activities
As well as breathing deeply, you might want to try some activities that can help to calm your child down. Art is a great option because it gives them something to focus on in a calm and relaxing way.
Set up an art space in your home, somewhere that your child can use whenever they want to. Place pens, pencils, crayons, stickers, and more right where they can reach them, and encourage them to use the area.
Make sure there are no rules about what they have to do, just give them the freedom to be creative. Consider coloring as well. Buy a coloring book or use an app like this mandala coloring book app. This is a simple stress-relieving activity that is popular with children and adults alike.
Take Control of Anxiety
It can be distressing for both you and your child when they suffer from anxiety, but there are ways to get control over it. Use these tips to help your child know that they are completely normal and help them to understand what is going on.
Then use some calming activities to help them to overcome bouts of anxiety when they are affected, and help them to get control over their anxiety without it becoming a problem.