Mental health is an important topic, especially when it comes to our kids. Did you know that anxiety levels in young children have risen in the past few years? Because of this, many parents are looking for solutions to help manage these difficult times and feelings. Most young children experience small anxiety levels, like worrying about family members, social situations, and dealing with life’s many changes. There are many ways to help kids deal with anxiety.
Dr. Barbara Gablehouse, a member of our Board of Educators, gives her top tips on how caregivers can help kids recognize and deal with their anxiety and when to seek professional help.
Children present feelings of anxiety in different ways. They may be irritable, look unhappy, or complain about stomach aches. It’s important to address these symptoms if they come up regularly.
1. Ask Questions 💬
If you think that your child is experiencing anxiety, start by asking what’s going on. Gablehouse suggests saying something like:
“I’ve noticed that you have a stomach ache every Monday morning. What can you tell me about that?”
Be sure to actively listen to what they say so that you can help find the root of the anxiety.
2. Validate Feelings 🫂
Take care not to dismiss their worries by telling them they’re not real or don’t matter. Validate their concerns by saying:
“I can see that you’re really worried about…”
It’s helpful for your tiny human to know that you understand their anxiety and that they’re not alone.
3. Problem Solve 🔧
The key here is to problem solve with your child, not for your child. Come up with solutions together and actively practice them throughout the day.
You might teach your little one how to take big deep breaths to self-calm. You can also try drawing out different situations that bring up anxiety and add ideas for what to do in each situation.
4. Manage Anxiety with Lingokids 💙
Learning how to deal with emotions is a necessary part of growing up! The Lingokids curriculum incorporates activities to help young children manage their emotional development. Children should learn the basics of daily hygiene, doing exercise, heathy eating, and having quiet time. These activities help reduce stress and anxiety and increase well being.
It’s normal for everyone to experience anxiety from time to time. Gablehouse suggests seeking help from a mental health professional if your child’s anxiety interferes with everyday activities and doesn’t resolve within a few weeks.
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