All children worry about something. They may not be worrying about the same thing all the time. They may have different worries that come and go – some worries may strike once and disappear within minutes.
It can be very hard to watch a child who is worrying. You want to help them. You want to make it disappear so that they do not have to face it. We know we can’t but what we can do is help them to talk about it and look the worry in the face. If we don’t they can make their worry bigger than it actually is and it can have a knock on effect to their sleep, mood and appetite. So what can we do?
Tips for helping children deal with worry
We can make time to talk with our children about the difficult situations they could find themselves before they arise so they know how to handle them and feel confident in what they have done. If it is too late for this conversation then one needs to be had about what they can do so that they are more prepared to tackle the worry – that day, that night, the following day etc.
Listen to our children as they talk about the worry. One child in your family may be more prone to worrying than another and may need to talk about it more.
Make them feel that you understand and that you will support whatever they decide to do. If the worry is friendship or school related there may even be a positive in the worry they have. If so, then discuss what that is and help them feel a little better.
Suggest you look at strategies together and put the worry into perspective. Maybe you could do some role playing or an activity together for them to unwind the worry and help it disappear.
There are lots of strategies in my book, The Parent’s Toolkit, but what is your best way of helping your child handle their worries?
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