Growing older means taking on more and more responsibilities. This starts with more expectations from school, which progressively becomes more challenging with each grade level. These added pressures can take a toll on our children’s mental and emotional health and may cause them to experience more frequent episodes of anxiety. As a parent, there are things we can do to help prevent anxiety in our children.
One thing we should know is that it might be quite difficult to spot anxiety in children because they may not show any signs of it. Still, it is in your best interest to ensure that your child lives a relatively anxiety-free life. Continue reading if you want to learn more about how to achieve this.
It’s not uncommon for parents to have expectations from their children – whether it’s excellence in a particular sport or a consistent academic achievement in school. Parents, after all, only want their children to succeed.
What parents may not understand, however, is the level of pressure they’re placing on their kids. Children might find themselves unable to acknowledge and articulate, and deal with the negative emotions that they are experiencing because they have grown accustomed to it. Over time, they might bottle these emotions which can then lead to a build-up of anxiety in them.
One of the best ways to prevent this from happening to your child is to constantly reassure her that it’s alright not to be the best in a particular field. Helping her come to terms with her weaknesses and genuinely supporting her in her interests, as well as strengths may help her ease the daily anxieties that she encounters.
Children often feel the need to impress their parents. They excitedly show their mom and dad a sticker they received in school for displaying good behavior. They also love to tell their parents about the good grades they’ve earned in school. Parents can sometimes take these moments for granted.
It would do you well to take the time to acknowledge your child’s good behavior or achievement, no matter how small. Whether it’s through a verbal affirmation, an affectionate physical gesture, or a small token of reward, your child will be made to feel they are appreciated and loved.
If you notice that your child might be more withdrawn than usual, it’s probably best that you approach her and take a moment to just talk to her. She may have something on her mind that she is afraid to share with you. By creating a safe space for her to talk about her emotions, you are showing her that you can be a person she can trust her feelings with. One of the worst things you can do as a parent, is to be dismissive of your child’s emotions. Allow her to express her emotions, and then help her deal with them in a positive way. Teach your child ways in which she can learn to feel these emotions, but not be led or controlled by them.
Children spend a major part of their early lives in school. At the end of every week, they may want nothing more than to rest and engage in their hobbies.
Help relieve your child’s anxieties is by joining her in these times of rest and recreation. Not only does this allow you to spend more quality time with her, but this also allows her to share a few moments of relaxation with you as well.
The issue of anxiety is a sensitive subject matter to tackle. Not knowing how to handle anxiety when it manifests in your child may cause a potential rift between the two of you. The simple guide above has hopefully offered you some helpful approaches on how to prevent anxiety in your children and help them navigate through anxious episodes in their life.