How to Help Kids Cope With Worries
Helping our children cope with worries and anxiety is an important role for us to take seriously as parents and carers. There are some basic things we can all do like making sure they are getting enough sleep and eating well, there are some great tools and techniques such as worry dolls that we can make use of, and of course we need to be able to model good ways of coping with stress and anxiety ourselves.
Children have plenty of things that might cause them to worry and this can lead to issues with stress and anxiety if they do not have effective methods for coping with their worries. Teaching our kids to manage stressful situations and difficult emotions at a young age will mean they are better able to handle bigger issues with ease as they grow older allowing them to face life's challenges with confidence and optimism.
Talking About Worries
One of the best ways of helping kids cope with their worries is to give them the opportunity to talk about them. Being available and interested is a great way to encourage kids to talk, and you can casually incorporate talking about feelings so that children are used to doing this. Hearing you talk about how things make you feel can also be really helpful to children as it both gives them the words they need and shows them that it’s normal to have big feelings and emotions about things.
If your children do open up about their worries you can offer to help them brainstorm for a solution, giving them the lead and making suggestions if they need them, rather than jumping in to fix the problem. This empowers children and shows them that very often they have the wisdom they need to solve their troubles.
Children can often get worried about big things such as climate change or poverty. In these instances it can be good to encourage proactivity and empower them by teaching them that they have the power to make a difference, no matter what the situation.
If children find it hard to talk to you about their worries there is still a huge benefit to be had from speaking their troubles out loud. Offering a worry doll or other inanimate companion to talk to can be really helpful. It’s good for grownups too. Speaking our fears has been proven to lessen the fear response. And articulating a problem is almost always the first step towards finding the solution.
Be A Good Role Model
Children learn so much more from the way we behave than the things we tell them. They model their behaviour on what they see around them, and so how you respond to worry and stress will probably be how your children do. Modelling good practises will have a huge impact on your children’s ability to cope with worry.
Don’t Forget the Basics
When things get tough it can be all too easy to forget the basics of making sure we get enough sleep, making sure we are eating well, and making sure we are getting enough physical activity and getting outside. All these things link back to our ability to deal with stress and anxiety so covering the basics is a good place to start. We all know how much harder it is to deal with a stressful situation if we are tired or hungry. And we all know how much better being outside can make us feel.
Next Up: What Do You Do With Worry Dolls?