The most frequently asked questions about how to approach your anxious children should be. How to Treat An Anxious Child? How to Help An Anxious Child How Should An Anxious Child Be Approached?I would like to share an article with some suggestions on the subject.
If your child has an anxious nature and experiences this feeling intensely, it is of great importance as parents to maintain your calm and positivity when faced with anxiety situations. So how can you achieve this?
When children feel extremely anxious, even parents with advanced parenting skills, who we think are good parents, use some words or phrases that they think are positive in order to alleviate their children’s feelings and understand them emotionally. However, these words or sentences can sometimes cause your child to worry even more.
It may seem overwhelming to observe and monitor a child’s coping with their anxiety, but your goal as parents is not to try to eliminate all the worries that have been and develop in the child’s life, but rather to help him learn to tolerate and cope with the worrying events he may encounter in his life. and this should include trying to understand the events that cause him anxiety.
As parents, we can say that it is the first rule that you must maintain your calm and positive stance in the face of worrying events. Because as long as you can maintain this calmness and positivity, your children will also observe how you react to the worrying events they encounter and try to take some clues from you and use them in their own lives in the future. In other words, it is not what you say to them, but how you react to events, that is, your behavior. As a result, the child either grows up as an individual who is able to cope with his worries and shows positive reactions, or he is faced with a series of events in his life that will constantly worry him and he has to ask for help from someone. Remember that you are his mirror.
Now let’s focus on some of the sentences that parents verbalize considering that they are positive, and let’s talk about the effects they have on children.
1-Don’t worry! or Don’t Worry!
Unfortunately, telling your child that he/she should not worry in order to relieve his/her anxiety in the face of any event, unfortunately, does not make his/her worry go away. Your child is already in a state of anxiety, and this sentence implies that the emotion he or she is experiencing seems to be irrational or unacceptable. I suggest you choose a more positive expression that you can use instead of this sentence. For example: “Can you tell me a little more about the anxiety you’re experiencing?” Or “Can you tell me a little more about the situation that caused you concern?” You can emphasize that you are trying to understand his anxiety with these sentences, you can empathize.
2-Don’t worry, it’s not even a problem!
An anxious child knows and believes that the anxiety he experiences is very important for the moment. In fact, the anxiety he experiences is so important to him that it has the potential to negatively affect his relationship with his peers, his relationship with you as a parent, his school success and other social areas. Instead of telling him that this is not a problem to worry about, you can choose more positive and empathetic sentences. For example: Whatever anxiety he is experiencing……. I can see you’re very worried about it. Let’s take a deep breath together if you want, and then talk a little bit about it.
Note: Events or situations that worry the child can sometimes prevent them from immediately sharing with you. Therefore, if you receive a negative answer; “I want you to know that I am ready to listen to you whenever you are ready or want to talk about it.” A statement you make in the form of a statement will help him both feel understood and come and share this situation with you when he is ready. Sometimes, however, parents tend to be a little hasty and find out right away. Doing so may cause the child to turn himself in on you. I suggest you be careful and be patient in this matter.
3-There is nothing to be afraid of, do not be afraid!
If you have an anxious child, remember that he or she has many reasons to fear or worry about: being judged by others, being rejected by peers, or failing. You cannot eliminate the anxiety he is experiencing with a quick sentence. You can alleviate his anxiety by trying to open the door to a positive conversation about this topic. For example: “Let’s talk about it.” You can make a good start with the sentence. However, I would like to remind you to consider the note section in item 2.
4-You’ll be fine, don’t worry!
If you’ve ever felt excessively anxious about a situation, or if you’ve ever gone further and seen someone around you who has had a panic attack, or experienced it yourself, if you find that the word “good” has no effect on an anxious mind. Your consciousness cannot make any connection with this word at that time. So you will be fine to tell your child, don’t worry etc. sentences will remain in the air at that time. Instead, you can use a more empathetic sentence to your child. For example, you could try the sentence “I’m here to help you”.
5-You should sleep early and get your sleep!
One of the most difficult aspects of anxiety in childhood is that it makes it very difficult for children to go to bed. If the child’s mind is anxious, he tends to deal with the worries that he tries to deal with during the day by being busy with him at night. This is definitely not something that your child does on purpose or is his fault. Instead of this sentence, you can help your child in a different way. For example: To make it easier for your child to go to bed and sleep, you can do a meditation or relaxation exercise before going to bed.
As a second option, you can develop a simple spray that we can call “monster spray” for children who have trouble sleeping due to anxiety. For this, take a spray bottle that you have in your house (make sure there is no chemical residue in it) and fill it with water, at the same time use food coloring to color it if you wish, and use an adhesive label on the bottle with large letters “MONSTER SPRAY” or the child. Whatever is worrying, you can write “….. SPRAY” and spray it together in the room to keep the things that scare him away when it is time to sleep, at the same time, you can put the spray near his bed and indicate that he can use this spray when he is afraid at night, and in this way you can reduce his anxiety.
6-Everything is in your head…
Excessive anxiety, that is, anxiety, is a brain-based disorder when evaluated from a psychological point of view. Therefore, it is not a situation that the child enters knowingly and willingly. But “rejecting” the child with this sentence causes the child to feel guilty and ashamed. Instead of this sentence, you can use the following expression, where you can do an activity with your child and help him relax: I think your anxious brain is making a lot of noise right now, if you want, let’s go for a walk together and calm your worried brain.
Anxious children tend to move at the speed of a turtle. While some fall into a trap that we can call perfectionism, others are full of regret when making decisions. For this reason, telling anxious children to be faster only makes them feel more guilty and more helpless. Use a simpler sentence to help the anxious child act. For example: “How can I help you?” With this sentence, you can help your child in a healthier way without feeling guilty and helpless, and you can also support him to take action.
8- I don’t understand what you need.
Parenting anxious children is often tiring and very difficult. However, in order to truly help your child, you need to remain calm and hopeful in the face of anxiety. If you use a phrase that expresses hopelessness to your child, you will only increase his anxiety. Instead, your child, for example; “Let’s brainstorm together to find a way to calm our minds.” You can invite him to think together to find a solution by using the following sentence.
It often takes both time and practice to get your child to cope with feelings such as anxiety and fear. Generally, you will not experience all of the anxiety situations I mentioned in the same day, but it is possible to experience one or more of them together.