When children are profoundly nervous, even well-meaning parents will slip into a depressive trap and actually worsen the anxiety of the youngster, not wanting a child to struggle. It arises when parents, knowing the fears of an infant, attempt to shield her from them. Here are tips for helping kids break the fear loop.
1. The aim is not to remove fear, but to enable it to be handled by an infant.
None of us like to see a child sad, but not attempting to minimize stressors that cause it is the best way to help children conquer anxiety. It is to help them understand, and though they are nervous, to handle their fear and work as much as they can. And the fear can decline or slip away with time as a side effect of that.
2. Don’t ignore things simply because they make your child nervous.
Helping children stop situations they’re scared of can help them feel safer in the short run, but it strengthens long-term fear. If a child gets frustrated in an awkward situation, she wants to cry — not to be deceptive, but actually because that’s how she feels — because her parents drive her out of there, or withdraw the problem she’s scared of, she discovers the coping strategy, and the pattern has the ability to replicate itself.
3. Express positive and reasonable aspirations.
You can’t guarantee a child that his worries are absurd — that he won’t fail the test, that he’ll have fun ice skating, or that every child won’t laugh at him throughout the display. But you should show your faith that he will be all right, that he will be able to handle it, and that, if he faces his worries, the level of anxiety will decrease with time. This enables him the trust that your goals are reasonable so you’re not going to challenge him to do anything he can’t do.
4. Accept the feelings, but do not motivate them.
It’s worth noting that confirmation is not all about acceptance. So if a child was afraid to go to the clinic because she’s about to a shot, you don’t like to belittle her concerns, but you don’t want to exacerbate them either. You want to listen to be emotionally sensitive, make her realize what she’s concerned about, to inspire her to believe like she should overcome her concerns. The message you want to convey is, I understand you’re afraid, and that’s all right, because I’m there, and I’m helping you get through it.
5. Don’t ask any pertinent questions.
Teach your child to chat about his emotions, but try not to ask vital questions—”Are you nervous about the upcoming test? Are you concerned more about fair of science? “To stop feeding the loop of fear, just ask open-ended questions:” What do you feel towards science being fair?
6. Don’t exacerbate the children’s worries.
Something you wouldn’t want to do is say, in your tone of voice or body language, “Perhaps that’s what you’d be wary of.” Let’s assume a kid has had a bad encounter with a dog. Next time she’s across a puppy, you might be concerned about how she’s going to act, and you might accidentally send out a message that she’s expected to be worrying.
7. Motivate the child to withstand stress.
Help your child realize that you respect the effort that is done to tolerate fear in order to do what he or she wishes or needs to do. It also encourages him to take part in life and let anxiety take its normal curve. We call it the “inhibition curve”—it decreases with time as it tends to be in touch with the source of stress. Maybe it won’t drop to 0, maybe it won’t drop as much as you like, so that’s how we’re going to resolve our fears.
8. Strive to keep the instantaneous time short.
If we’re scared of anything, it’s always the toughest time before we do it. And another rule of thumb for parents is just trying to remove or minimize the instantaneous time. If the child is worried about going to a medical visit, or brush their teeth, you can buy better baby toothbrush with favorite cartoons engraved on the, you don’t want to start worrying about it 2 hours before you leave; it’s possible that your child will get more locked up. So really aim to reduce the time to a minimal.
9. Think over problems with the child.
Often it helps to worry about what’s going to happen if a child’s anxiety comes true — how does she cope about it? A child who is reluctant to split from her parents could be concerned about what might happen if they didn’t come to pick her up. And we’re worried about that. When your mom doesn’t come to the end of soccer camp, what are you going to do? “Ok, I’d tell the coach that my mom isn’t here,” and what do you think the coach will do? “Ok, he’s going to call my aunt. Or he’d stay with me. “A kid who’s concerned that a stranger may be sent to pick her up might have a code word from her parents that anyone they sent will remember. For certain youngsters, making a schedule will minimize anxiety in a safe, successful way.
10. Try modeling safe ways to cope with anxiety.
There are many ways that you can help children live with fear by making them see how you live with fear yourself. Kids are thoughtful, and they’re beginning to follow it in if you keep whining to a friend on the phone that you can’t cope with anxiety and depression. I don’t want to imply that you don’t have fear and stress, just let the kids hear or see you treat it peacefully, handle it, feel confident of getting through everything.