As a parent of an anxious child, it’s important you take care of you!
This is so you have the patience and strength to support your child.
Gully has a lot of questions when it comes to worries. Everything makes him nervous.
Gully’s first reaction is to be scared of new experiences, loud noises and change. Gully needs time to adjust to new situations and often needs lots of support and encouragement when it comes to new experiences.
Gully doesn’t like the fact that he always has worries. He knows his concerns are frustrating to those around him. He just needs them to remember he’s trying his hardest.
Does this sound like your child?
Why do some children struggle with anxiety?
Anxiety is more common than most people realize. It is not the result of a character flaw. Your child isn’t choosing to be anxious.
With the right care and proper support, anxious children can learn to manage their anxiety and live productive lives.
When should I be concerned about my child’s anxiety?
Anxiety becomes a problem when it affects a child’s ability to cope and their quality of life. Children that are struggling at school, at home and with everyday activities (bedtime, mealtime, playtime) might need some help.
Dealing with an anxious child can be very difficult. You can’t always do it alone. Seek support through your doctor or child’s school. Talking to other parents who have children struggling with anxiety can also be a valuable resource when seeking support.
Is it me? Is my parenting making my child anxious?
An anxious child is not a sign of bad parenting. Children pick up on their parent’s anxiety. If you are anxious about certain situations, they might feel they need to be anxious too.
The best thing you can do as a parent is reach out for help and support, the earlier the better. Little kids have little worries, big kids have bigger worries.
Worries have a way of growing if coping techniques aren’t put in place.
What to remember:
Telling your child to stop worrying is not going to make their worries go away.
Reassuring them they have nothing to worry about, coaxing and accommodating often doesn’t work either.
Watch this video on Anxiety
Gulliver is so afraid of the storm that’s coming that he can’t even enjoy game night with his family.
When emotions start to escalate, how can you turn this situation around?
☻ Recognize you are getting frustrated
☻ Validate how your child is feeling
☻ Acknowledge your child is having a hard time
☻ Engage your child in finding a solution so everyone’s needs are met
Recognize your feelings! Validate their feelings and work together!
Working together is key!
Creating a Plan
- Creating a plan helps you and your child work together to manage big feelings in the future.
- Print off the plan on the kids page << The Storm >> and come up with a plan together.
- Take the plan with you ( print off or on your phone) so you can remember what you need to do when emotions start to rise. Don’t forget to bring Poppy for some extra support!
You can use this plan to explain to family, friends or care givers how you and your child are working together to overcome big feelings. Use it to communicate to your child’s school or family doctor too!
Things to remember when building a plan:
Address the problem. Validate their feelings. Tell them how you are feeling about the situation.
- Get creative. Listen to their suggestions.
- Print off the plan and post it or take it with you so everyone remembers what they need to do.
- What are the important things to remember? The key parts of the plan?
- Determine the tough point. When does it get difficult? What are we going to do when that happens?
- Yes to success! Maybe next time? What do we need to different, or do we just need practice. Even the best plans need practice sometimes!
The Plan (example)
Working together to:
Deal with big feelings when meeting a new dog
Prep- what will today look like:
- We are going to stay at our house until noon
- Just before lunch we will head to Grandpa’s
- When we get to Grandpa’s, Paws will be on his leash and close to Grandpa
- Grandpa will hold on to Paws while we come in
- The adults will all manage Paws so he doesn’t jump up
- Paws will spend the afternoon in the backyard
- When it’s time to leave, Grandpa will put Paws on his leash and bring him in to say goodbye
Seeing Paws the dog at Grandpa’s house
How did I react
Parent- what will be my role in this plan:
- Review the plan with child before we go to Grandpa’s
- Reassure the child they are safeValidate their feelings. You understand the fear is real
- Explain that Paws will be on his leash so your child can start to get used to seeing him while feeling safe
- The adults will work together to keep the child safe
- If your child is comfortable, perhaps they can say good bye to Paws or even give him a pat
March 18. 2024
What can I do instead?
Child- What will my role be in this plan:
- Make sure I understand the plan. Am I ok with the plan?
- Make sure I understand I am safe
- Tell adults if the big feelings are growing
- With Paws on his leash, we will enter the house and visit with Grandpa
- I will take little steps to work through their worries about Paws
Look for opportunities to practice problem-solving in everyday life with your child so you are ready to use those skills when they are faced with a challenge.
Now It’s your turn!
- Don’t forget to collaborate with your child and validate their feelings
- Go to the kids page and help your child work through the in the Gully library << #6: Gully and the storm >>