What to do about a child suffering with anxiety

Does your son or daughter experience anxiety frequently?

According to Dr. Lynne Kenney, author of “ The Family Coach Method, ” anxiety is a biologically based condition that leads one to live in a chronic state of stress. Children become anxious when task demands get too great.

To help with anxiety and stress among children, here are four tips and proven techniques that Dr. Lynne provided from author Lori Lite :

1. Use affirmations or positive statements to counteract kids’ stress.

Teach your children to take a break and say, "I am calm. I am relaxed. I am peaceful. I am happy. I am safe."

Write a positive statement and have your child carry it in their pocket for the day. Also, put a list in the back of their school notebook for them to access at any time.

2. Imagining can be both fun and effective, so create visualizations.

Create a happy thought that children can "go to" when stressed or worried. Develop a short story or scene that your child can think of when they are fearful or anxious. Some ideas include: Go for a calming ride on a cloud, float in a bubble, or slide down a rainbow. Encourage your child to create their own relaxing story. Let them write it down or record it so that they can try their visualization with you.

3. Practice controlled breathing.

Take slow deep breaths to help lower a child's anxiety and anger. All children can benefit from this important powerful stress and anger management technique. Children with special needs; Autism, Aspergers, ADHD, SPD, PTSD can learn to bring their energy level down a notch and feel in charge of themselves. Children can use breathing when they feel over-stimulated or on the verge of a temper tantrum too. Have them focus on their breathing and soothe themselves. Breathe in 2,3,4 and out 2,3,4, then repeat. Also, encourage your child to show one of their dolls or stuffed animals this technique.

4. To help your child fall asleep, use progressive muscle relaxation.

Relax your child's mind and body by telling various muscle groups to relax. Start with your child's feet and work your way up to their head or reverse the order. After a few tries your child will be able to use this technique on their own. "I am going to relax my legs. I will relax my legs. My legs are relaxing. My legs are relaxed." For a variation, try active progressive muscular relaxation. Tighten muscle groups and relax. "Hold, hold, hold and then release."


Print this article Back to Top