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10 tips for parents to help an anxious child

Introduce calming techniques such as doing some yoga. Pictue: Monstera Pexels

Introduce calming techniques such as doing some yoga. Pictue: Monstera Pexels

Published Apr 21, 2022


Certain things in a child's life can be immensely stressful and difficult to cope with. These include loss, serious illness, death of a loved one, bullying, and violence or abuse, all of which can lead to extreme anxiety in children.

Exam time is also usually a heightened time of stress and comes on the back of the Covid-19 pandemic, which affected many households – some severely in terms of loss of employment and income – and children would also have felt and noticed the effect of this.

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If you have a child that you think may suffer from any form of anxiety, including panic attacks, here is a list of things parents can do to help in the situation. These hints can be found in the book: ‘How big are your worries, little bear?’

1. Teach your child to be a thought detective.

2. Introduce calming techniques and mindfulness: such as give them a slow breathing task, or doing some yoga techniques.

3. Visualisation – talk about the scary stuff.

5. Recogise even the smallest efforts and build the child's confidence to “have a go”.

6. Do not reinforce their worries.

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7. Try to not fix everything – children need to learn how to cope and overcome challenges.

8. Help the child write or draw a checklist of anxiety-busting strategies.

9. Break down worries into manageable chunks.

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10. Model your own techniques – show or explain what you choose to do when you feel anxious.


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