Parenting Tips for Anxious Children by Kayla Daugherity
It can be really hard to navigate anxiety when it’s happening with your child. Here are some quick tips to keep in mind.
Encourage your child to utilize their coping skills. Practice them when they are in a calm state of mind, too! Ex: Before bed, before starting their day, etc. Practice makes perfect.
Instead of forcing your child to do certain sports or activities, sit down with them and have them pick a couple they would be willing to try out. If they don’t enjoy them or feel too anxious, at least they tried!
Validate, validate, validate! If your child is extra emotional or says they are feeling “weird”, but they don’t know why, please don’t tell them they are being “dramatic” or that they are “fine”. Chances are that will make them more anxious. Try saying things like, “I’m here for you”, “how can I support you?”, “it’s okay to feel these feelings, let’s try some calming strategies to help them pass”.
Share stories with your child where you have felt anxious, nervous, scared, alone. They will feel less alone, more validated, safe, and trust you more than they did before.
Let’s replace “distance” with “presence”. Instead of: “Go to your room” You can come back when you’ve calmed down!”. Stay and share: “This feels bad. I know. I’m right here with you”. Kids can’t learn to regulate if they are left alone in their distress. –Dr. Becky Kennedy
If your child is stressing or worrying about the future, practice this with them: “Ah… that’s a worry about the future. If and when that moment comes… I’m not going to have a worry. I’ll have a problem. I can do things with problems! I can sit with them… it feels worse now to be worrying about this thing than it will even if that thing comes. Then we can figure it out as a team”. -Dr. Becky Kennedy
Remind yourself you are doing the best you can. Parenting isn’t easy. Being a child isn’t easy. Support each other, lift each other up, and take a deep breath. You are doing amazing!
In addition, here are some great resources for parenting tips:
More about Kayla Daugherity…
Kayla specializes in working with kids and adolescents who have experienced trauma, ADHD, anxiety, depression, self-harming behaviors, lack of social skills, bullying, low-self esteem, PTSD, and anger/ behavior management. Prior to Inspire, Kayla worked at a severe residential facility, with children ages 5-16 suffering from severe trauma, family and attachment issues. With all of her experience working with kiddos, she is so thankful and eager to practice what she’s learned at Inspire.
Kayla currently has a waitlist for new clients.
To add your name to the waitlist:
To contact Kayla directly, call (847) 919-9096 ext 39 or [email protected]
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