453970051Everyone, adult and child, experiences anxiety. What is important is how we deal with the stressor that makes us anxious. Kids with anxiety look to their parents for verbal as well as behavioral cues. This can either help them manage their stress more effectively or cement it further.

The Key Word is Management

As a parent you want to see your child happy and secure. When you see her anxious and scared you may go into a protective mode and be tempted to remove her from situations that will make her anxious. Do resist this temptation. While it may be difficult for you as a mom or a dad, we truly believe that by allowing your child to face the stressor you will make it possible for her to deal with it effectively. Children learn coping mechanisms. You want to ensure that hers are proactive and do not strengthen her anxiety.

It is Good to Talk

Encourage your kid to speak her mind freely, and without interruptions. Do phrase your questions well. You do not want to end up asking her, “Are you worried about your math test?” Instead you could phrase the question to simply ask her how she feels about it. Let her know that it is alright to feel a bit concerned, and then focus on how she well has been prepared for it. You could also ask her to share her ideas on how she could formulate a plan to deal with her anxiety. For instance, if she is worried about a stranger coming to pick her up after school, then you could decide on a ‘safe’ password, that will reassure her.

It is important to tell children that everyone feels anxious or stressed at some time or the other. What is important is how well one deals with the situation. This will also encourage her to tolerate the stress instead of avoiding it.

Parents are important role models for children. Kids with anxiety are known to observe how their parents deal with stress, and reflect a similar attitude. You can talk to your child about things that worry you but also talk to her about how you work through your anxiety.

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