helping children’s anxiety

Are you a parent handling your child’s worrying thoughts? After a noticeable increase in parents booking sessions for anxious children, I felt drawn to share some tips to help provide relief for concerned parents:One of the best places to start is to explain to your children that having fearful thoughts is normal!Secondly, help your children to understand their fearful thoughts and beliefs are not always true or helpful. Perhaps even remind them that research explains that when we are worried or stressed that we don’t think the same way as when we are calmHelp teach your kids to be able to notice, test out or question their own fearful thoughts and beliefs to see if they are true or helpful, you can do this by saying “Do you think this is 100% true? Do you think there are any alternative explanations?” or “Do you think your brain is telling you the worst case scenario or realistic case scenario?” or “Is there any way you could actually test that thought/belief to see if this is true?”I also always recommend gently, helping your kids notice when they are spending lots of time going over their fearful thoughts, and try to calmly move their attention to a different topic, my favourite question to start this process is “How can you notice when you are worrying? What happens to your body/mind/feelings?”. Start to teach your children in what ways their body feels different when they are relaxed as opposed to anxious. I often ask questions like “Does your head feel fuzzy? Are your thoughts racing quickly? Do you feel like you have butterfly’s or a knot in your tummy? What do your hands feel like?”. If you are a concerned parent of a child with worrying thoughts, never underestimate your healing ability to simply listen and hold your children’s concerns also

helping children's anxiety