5 Coping Strategies for Kids Who are Dealing with Anxiety

May 11, 2020

In today’s frenetic world, feelings of anxiety or stress are common. Adults are not the only ones suffering from this. Children feel anxious, too.

Sometimes, you may get so busy with your own daily struggles that you tend to ignore or not acknowledge your children’s feelings. Children’s anxiety can increase and could affect their development as they grow older.

So, how do you handle such situations? What are the best and most effective coping strategies for kids that you can implement to help them escape the cycle of anxiety?

Often, anxiety among children may arise from different causes impacting their normal routine, such as specific situations in school or with friends. In certain cases, your child may be suffering from lack of self-confidence or low self-esteem. Some children may have learned to “worry” too much about almost everything. 

Whatever the case, there are simple and practical solutions that will help your child cope with anxiety:

Let them acknowledge the feeling

Parents’ first instinct when they see their child getting anxious is to tell them to “relax” or “don’t worry”. While it’s normal, no child has ever stopped worrying just because he/she has been told to do so. Worry has become an integral aspect in our lives and serves a good purpose in how we live day-by-day.

Without worry in our life, we might never be able to prepare ourselves for actual threats that may occur. Worry acts as a sort of practice for our minds in that regard. Still, it can be carried to unproductive levels.

It is important that you let your child acknowledge their emotions and give them uninterrupted time to vent out their worries, as well as frustrations. Then, you can brainstorm together to come up with a suitable solution.

Talk to your child

Avoid asking leading questions, instead simply inquire about their feelings that day or at that particular moment. Encourage your child to talk openly about his/her feelings. You can let them list out their emotions just like how you would do with a shopping list. This will help them clarify what is going on around them and alleviate the pressure they may be having.

Set up a calm-down and relaxing space

A space specifically designed to help your child calm down or manage their anxiety is one of the most effective coping strategies for kids. You can set up a space in their bedroom—a cozy and comfortable spot where they can go when needed. This is beneficial for your child because not only will they know that they have somewhere to go when they feel anxious, but they can feel relaxed and happy knowing that you care enough for them to create this calm-down space.

Most often, children’s anxiety is aggravated when they feel alone and unloved. 

Practice the PNB (Pause, Notice, Breathe)

Sometimes, amidst the chaos of our busy life, we forget to take a break. The same principle applies to kids. Encourage your child to learn how to take a break—pause, notice, and breathe.

This little exercise is simple: pause, notice the things around you or notice the feeling that may arise, and gently breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth. Through this exercise, you can help your child manage their anxiety as this slows everything down.

The more you encourage your child to practice this, the more they will be able to naturally incorporate this into their daily routine.

Help your child create a coping kit

Aside from the calm-box space, you can also help your child build their own coping kit. If you want your child to work through his/her anxieties and worries, help him/her learn various coping skills.

There are so many strategies that you can both try. You can create a list of strategies and use them when triggers arise. Some include:

  • Stress balls
  • Deep breathing
  • Journaling or just writing down your worries
  • Progressive muscle relaxation
  • Seek assistance from an adult

Try these simple strategies and figure out what works best.

What’s most important is that you let your child know that you are and always will be there when needed.

Take care of your own needs, too. Teaching a child how to cope with anxiety may be stressful for parents as well. 

If you want more help managing your child’s anxiety, feel free to contact us at Imagine Nation Learning Center. We are more than happy to offer you with more effective anxiety coping strategies for kids.

 

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