While we’d like to protect our kids against all life’s worries, helping them to identify, work through and accept what comes their way can teach them to cope better…
- ‘Talk to me about it’ It seems basic, but your child’s worries can be overlooked when life is busy. Let her explore her fears by asking as many questions as possible. Then you’ll understand what she thinks she’s up against.
- ‘You’re safe – I love you’ Being told that you will be kept safe by the person you love the most is a powerful affirmation. Anxiety makes kids feel mentally or physically in danger, and repeating that they’re safe will soothe them.
- ‘What will happen next?’ Anxiety can make life after an event seem to disappear. Visualising what will happen afterwards helps put things into perspective.
- ‘We’re a strong team, you and I’ For young kids, separation can often trigger anxiety. Promising that you’ll work together (even if they can’t see you) will help build their confidence.
- ‘I get scared/nervous/anxious sometimes too’ Empathy is one of the most valuable tools in a mom’s armoury. Telling your older child about how you overcame anxiety can make him feel less alone in a big, scary world.