There are some 5-6 year olds out there who can get a little crazy. Or reclusive, or make their parent’s lives difficult because they are anxious and you don’t even know it because it’s all behind closed doors – before that child shows up to school for example.
But anxiety is something that quite a few parents actually deal with. Enough that it’s a sub group but small enough that 7 out of 10 parents don’t have to deal.
This episode is to bring it out into the light a little. And maybe you don’t have any real issue. That’s great, but these lessons are still good for building up your child and that’s good for every parent out there. That’s a lesson we keep trying to teach over and over again.
So what are 3 things that parents can do to help children manage anxiety?
My three tips come from the Harvard health blog and one line in it sticks out specifically.
Children are emotional Geiger counters. They register anxiety radiating from parents.
Very True. As with a lot of the stories we’ve told over the last 6 months; it starts with you. We can’t expect our children to magically turn out to be piano playing, top of the class, athletic, loving, inclusive kids – when we don’t do any of those things. If we did, we’d just sit on the sidelines and direct our kids to be great.
It don’t work that way.
So start with modelling confidence in your words and body language. Analyze those, see if you’re projecting anything first.
Second. Narrate their world.
My 6 year old said to me the other day, “monsters aren’t real”. My mind said, “yea, duh, that’s silly, they aren’t.” But his mind said “monsters look real, and scare me, but I don’t think they’re real”.
See the difference. .. If we narrate the world as, “here’s your school, a safe place where your teacher loves you” – they see the world that way.
Third, practice exposure. I’ve been bragging that our ‘getting our kid out there’ has been paying off. Apologies for the brag, but we hope for you all the positive things we encounter. We wish you nothing but the best. Get out there in the world.