39. “You are so brave!”
Affirm your children’s ability to handle the situation, and you empower them to succeed this time.
40. “Which calming strategy do you want to use right now?”
Because each anxious situation is different, give your children the opportunity to choose the calming strategy they want to use.
41. “We’ll get through this together.”
Supporting your children with your presence and commitment can empower them to persevere until the scary situation is over.
42. “What else do you know about (scary thing)?”
When your children face a consistent anxiety, research it when they are calm. Read books about the scary thing and learn as much as possible about it. When the anxiety surfaces again, ask your children to recall what they’ve learned. This step removes power from the scary thing and empowers your child.
43. “Let’s go to your happy place.”
Visualization is an effective tool against anxiety. When your children are calm, practice this calming strategy until they are able to use it successfully during anxious moments.
44. “What do you need from me?”
Ask your children to tell you what they need. It could be a hug, space or a solution.
45. “If you gave your feeling a color, what would it be?”
Asking another person to identify what they’re feeling in the midst of anxiety is nearly impossible. But asking your children to give how they feel with a color, gives them a chance to think about how they feel relative to something simple. Follow up by asking why their feeling is that color.
46. “Let me hold you.”
Give your children a front hug, a hug from behind, or let them sit on your lap. The physical contact provides a chance for your child to relax and feel safe.
47. “Remember when you made it through XYZ?”
Reminding your child of a past success will encourage them to persevere in this situation.
48. “Help me move this wall.”
Hard work, like pushing on a wall, relieves tension and emotions. Resistance bands also work.
49. “Let’s write a new story.”
Your children have written a story in their mind about how the future is going to turn out. This future makes them feel anxious. Accept their story and then ask them to come up with a few more plot lines where the story’s ending is different.
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