What should I say to my anxious child?
Updated: Mar 30
I'm often asked by parents
"What shouldn't I say to my anxious child?"
I find that when you give people a list of things not say, it ends up being the only thing they can remember!
Try and keep your conversations with your child calm and positive. It can be hard to do in the heat of emotions, but it will help the situation if you can.
I know this is difficult
When your child expresses anxiety or worry:
acknowledge their thoughts
explain that you believe them
and you understand how hard they are finding it.
Acknowledging and accepting your child's thoughts could help to increase the chances that they will discuss their fears with you in the future.
Why do you think this is?
Take time when trying to discover why your child is anxious. When talking to them about their anxiety:
make sure that this is done in a calmer moment.
resist the urge to jump to the reasons why you think they are anxious.
focus on why they think they are.
Once you understand what they are anxious about, you can help them work out how to manage this anxiety.
Can you draw it?
If your child is younger sometimes they won't be able to talk to you about how they are feeling. You may need to come up with more inventive ways of finding out how they are feeling. For younger children, you may find that drawing is a good way.
I can't wait until...
Bring some excitement to anxious children about dates in the future. Showing them that you are excited can help them see that not everything is scary in the future.
I'm already proud of you
Some children that suffer from anxiety have a strong need to do things perfectly this can result in great stress for them. You can relieve some of this stress, by explaining that you are already pleased with their efforts, regardless of their efforts.
How can I help you?
When your child is talking about how they feel. Resist the urge to try and fix without there involvement. Instead ask them how you can help them. This way you can work together to help them.
I get nervous
Explain how you feel to your child. By explaining you feel nervous...scared....anxious, they'll understand that the feelings they have are normal, and experienced by you as well.
I love you.
Tell them that you love them, and that they are serve. It can serve the most powerful affirmation.
If you need additional counselling for your child then please don't hesitate to contact me.