How To Help Your Child Deal With Anxiety or Anxious Thoughts

by | Mar 28, 2020 | Anxiety, Children | 0 comments

Stress and anxiety are on the rise. Many are looking for ways to alleviate anxiety and enjoy life. Hypnotherapy offers a natural, non-pharmacological process of tapping into your inner resources and empowering your mind.
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Many children experience anxiety and/or anxious thoughts that can feel overwhelming. In this blog, we will discuss how you can help your child deal with anxiety and/or anxious thoughts and provide them with tools to support and empower them.

The tools in this blog are mostly emotional tools that may can help your child to shift away from anxious thoughts. Of course, there are some other, more physical tools to support your child, like ensuring quality sleep, providing nutritious meals and enough water, ensuring your child relaxes after physical activity, and more.

 

a boy with blonde hair and long sleeve shirt and a blonde girl with cat shirt, leaning on the boy, how to help your child deal with anxiety or anxious thoughts

 

7 Simple Tools to Help Kids with Anxiety

You, the parent, have an enormous influence on your child. From the moment your child is born (and even as a fetus), your child tunes in to your emotional state, actions, reactions, your patterns, facial expressions and basically everything you do and communicate (verbally and non-verbally). If your child shows signs of anxious thoughts, use the seven simple tools below to overcome them.

#1 Learn How To Calm Yourself Down

During an in-flight emergency, you need to put your own oxygen mask on first so you can help others. When you, the parent, learn how to manage your own emotions, you feel capable of helping your child manage their own anxious feelings and emotions.

Create a Safe Space

When you create a self-care routine that actually supports you, you can create a safe space for your child to express their emotions, worries and fear.

#2 Normalize Your Child’s Feelings

Worry is normal. It is part of our protective mechanism. Reassure your child that it is normal to worry. Many children and adults worry.

Creating Normality

It is easier to operate when we feel we are normal. Feeling normal removes another layer of uncertainty and allows your child to take a step closer to a safe space.

#3 Desensitize Triggers

We tend to avoid triggers rather than understand them. Unfortunately, your child won’t be able to avoid all their anxiety triggers, and so, desensitizing the triggers will play a very effective role in your child’s life.

Example: Anxiety Triggered by Dogs

For example, if your child’s anxiety is triggered by dogs, help them to learn more about dogs. Dedicate time together to observe dogs – help them notice how they behave, how they play, how many dogs are on-leash. Notice how dog owners behave when they walk near other people. Helping kids with anxiety means noticing the differences between breeds, and so on. Maybe you want to take a journal and put pictures in it along with some notes.

Example: Anxiety Triggered by Darkness and Nighttime

If nighttime triggers your child’s anxiety, help your child learn about night, dark, our biological clocks and why we sleep at night. Maybe you can decorate their room with some glow-in-the-dark stickers.

#4 Break It Down

Be genuinely curious about your kid’s worries. Ask them questions about it so they feel safe to talk about it. Oftentimes, when we teach kids, we deepen our understanding of the subject, so let your child teach you about their worries. It is very possible that once your child develops a new understanding about their worry, it will help them to be less anxious about it.

Start a Conversation

For example, if your child is anxious about going to school, start a conversation during a quiet time (rather than right before they need to leave the house to go to school).

Questions to Ask During a Quiet Time

Some questions you can use:

  • What worries you the most?
  • Is it true? (or can they give you an example? Or does it belong to the “what if” category of fears?).
    Maybe you, the parent, can give an example of the opposite?
  • What is your worry trying to tell you?
  • What can you tell your worry in response?
  • How can you change this worry so that it’s something that gives you power?

#5 Write or Draw The Worry

When your child is anxious, they feel like they don’t have control over this part of their life.

Activate Your Child’s Imagination

Writing and drawing activate the imagination and help them to free their mind from engaging in anxious thoughts. Using the imaginative part of their mind, your child controls the story and their drawing and can create anything from their worry.

Create an Empowering Story

If they write a story, they can create an empowering story where the hero/heroine has the power to turn the worry into something that supports them.

If they draw, they can use colours they like to make their worry lighter and more likable. 

#6 Teach Your Child Deep Breathing

A child, like an adult who experiences anxiety, uses a shallower and faster type of breathing that activates their fight-flight-freeze mode (survival mode). 

Breathe Deep

Deep breathing–an inhalation to the tummy followed by a long, slow exhalation, activates the rest-and-digest mode and allows the body to move into a state of restoration. 

Deep breathing is a simple and effective tool that can be used anywhere and at any time.

#7 Talk To Your Child at Bedtime

Anxiety tends to show up during quiet times. Bedtime is one of those times when anxiety comes to visit. Your child is lying down in bed, the light is dimmed (or the room is dark and quiet), which provides fruitful soil for anxious thoughts to show up in.

Be Present With Your Child

If possible, take a few moments to be with your child. It helps your kid to talk, to be listened to. Hug and kiss them. 

This is also a good time to talk about the next day in a positive, empowered way.

  • Talk about what they like to do.
  • What excites them about tomorrow?
  • Maybe things you will do together, or a friend they will see, a food they are looking forward to eating, etc?

 

Miri supports children and parents who experience anxious thoughts and helps them manage their anxious pattern levels to free them from anxiety.

For more information and to contact Miri Malkin @ Miri Malkin Hypnosis For Top Performance click below.

Miri Malkin

miri malkin

Miri Malkin

Miri Malkin is a certified clinical hypnotherapist and ACC certified wellness coach. Her passion is helping clients access their subconscious for improved happiness and well-being. Miri has first-hand experience with many of the issues her clients face. Freed from these by hypnotherapy, she now uses this powerful tool to help others heal and live their best lives. With Miri, you get the treatment and tools for long-lasting positive change from someone who has walked in your shoes. Receive the caring support you deserve near you.

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