Mental Health


Mandy Kloppers

Anxiety in Our Kids: 4 Approaches To Coax Them To Calm

Anxiety is something that’s not just in adults but is becoming more widespread in our children. A lot of parents try to distract their children from anxiety with play, but finding great activities for your children and other ways to remove the trail of thoughts through ignorance is not an effective approach. We’ve got to find a combination of methods for our kids. Of course, every child is unique, but here are a few methods that, either on their own or in tandem with another, could potentially work.

Physical Exercise

Physical exercise has long been a tool for people with anxiety. For children, just having that sensation of getting up and moving their body can do a lot because of the endorphins, but also choosing the right hobby like a sport or physical activity can give them that ability to focus and concentrate. If you’ve been thinking about getting your kids roller skates & inline skates, this might be a perfect reason to do it.

Thinking of a Safe Place 

Anxiety, in the moment, is something that feels like it’s ongoing. A method such as thinking about a safe or relaxing personal place can help them to ride out their anxieties. It is important that you have a conversation with your child and agree on who or what this thought is. It’s also a good idea to have a memento of this place or person to guide your child back to these thoughts. When your child has anxieties, it could be difficult to think of anything else, so a little reminder such as a pebble or a picture on their phone can take them back to that place.

The Hobbies That Make Them Feel Calmer

You may find that your child has a variety of hobbies that they can lose themselves in. If your child is feeling particularly anxious about something like exams, it’s important to take them away from thinking about the stresses of it and just finding the right tool that bears no resemblance to the thing they are dreading. Painting, music, or a film or book that has no references to exams can help them feel calmer, but it can also help them to feel braver. A film that your child watches a lot because they admire the lead character for their heroics can be incredibly inspiring and give them the courage to face down their challenges head-on.

Understanding That Anxieties Are Not Who They Are

Anxiety can take us out of ourselves, but we have to remember that if we experience bouts of anxiety, they don’t define us. This is something that we can help our children through during those difficult moments. It can be helpful to describe anxiety as something like a wave that they can ride until it gets smaller, but you can also use the appropriate tools based on the physical symptoms they display. For example, if they are hyperventilating, you can teach them how to breathe slow and deeper to help them calm down. Or if they are experiencing other symptoms that take them out of their body, connecting them back to their five senses is another useful trick.

Photo by Yousef Espanioly on Unsplash