SOURCE: Kim Blackham
It is normal for children to have some anxieties throughout childhood. Being afraid of the dark, worried about shots at the doctor’s office, fear of being left alone, or anxious about an upcoming test are common fears for many children. But what do you do when the anxieties feel like they are taking over the child’s sense of well-being?
- Encourage them to see the worries and concerns as existing independent from them.
If they can separate themselves from the anxieties, it will be easier for them to understand and manage them. You can do this, but helping them understand that worries and anxieties are normal – we all have them, but that we get to decide which worries and concerns we are going to allow.
- Explain that while some people may think that worries and concerns only exist in our heads, they have a very real impact on us physically as well.
Ask them what happens for them physically when they are afraid. Where do they feel it? Sometime people feel it as a yucky ball in their stomach, other times people feel it as a tight knot in their chest, or feeling hot and sticky all over. See if they can identify the physical response to those anxieties.
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