“You’re braver than you believe and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin
11. “Do your best.”
Kids need to know that perfection doesn’t exist; it’s an illusion. Effort matters. All you want for your kids is that they do their best and be their best.
12. “What would you rather feel?”
It can be so empowering for kids to learn that they can choose their feelings. When my daughter became extremely anxious about going for a blood test, she repeated over and over that she was scared. I asked her how she would like to feel instead, and she responded, “brave!” I told her she was already brave. “Say it,” I encouraged her. “I am brave,” she proclaimed. It worked!
13. “This feeling is going to pass. Remember when you _______?”
It’s easy for kids to get overwhelmed by their emotions and think that their anxious feelings will never go away.
Remind your child when they were able to overcome difficulties in the past, and that they can repeat their success again. Let them know how proud you are of their courage, then and now.
14. “How can I help you the most?”
Ultimately, your child knows best what they need from you, so ask them. They might stop for a minute, perplexed by your question, but if given a chance to think about it, they’ll tell you. They might say, “Hold my hand” or “Just sit with me for a minute while I calm down.” Either way, the solution will be tailor-made.
“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
15. “I love you.”
Telling your child how you feel about them is like covering them with a warm, safe blanket. It will soothe their worries and know that no matter what happens, your love will protect them.
Armed with these things to say, you’ll be in a better position to calm down your anxious child and get them feeling good about themselves once again.
In the end, though, if you want healthy and happy kids who worry less, the best you can do for your child is to work on your own calm. No matter what you say, you’re a walking example of how to stop worry in its tracks and how to resiliently lead your life.
Anxiety in children is something that should never be taken lightly. Making statements like “Relax, it will pass” is a strict no-no, and can have a severe impact on your child’s psyche. The best way to handle such a challenge is to take one step at a time, and trust the process and most importantly, trust yourself. As long as you are trusting yourself and your abilities, your child will feel safe, protected and at ease.
Here is an educational video regarding this topic:
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