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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Let Your Children be Free of Stress and Anxiety - Creating a Mentally Tougher Child

By Andrew Loh

Excessive anxiety and stress could become a big problem for children as the future could become uncertain and questionable. Anxiety could become a big problem when children fail to lead a normal life and enjoy positive and enjoyable experiences. It could even affect school performance, peer relationship and family association.

How to assist children with extreme anxiety and make them mentally tougher?

Help children segregate good feelings from bad ones

Feelings and perceptions could be extremely diverse and different. Some of them could be very good and positive while others could be negative and very bad. Children may not know ways to identify and segregate them. This perceived inability could make children accept the negative thoughts, feelings and perceptions without knowing or identifying their consequences. You may need to show them different types of emotions and make them aware of those feelings. Tell them how they can express their feelings through actions like using faces, their body and by using meaningful words. You should also explain them why expressing the right type of feelings in front of others is important. Also them in action different actions one would make by using some bodily actions: clenched fists, gripping hands, wincing faces, making sad faces and wringing hands. Most of these are signs indicate anxiety in children.

Allow them to express their emotions

Children can hide many things from parents. They are quite secretive too. Parents may need to know and understand their minds before attempting to get rid of anxiety in them. Allow them to express their mind and feelings. Give them free time to express them. Children are extreme in their emotions and they may not know how to express them in front of you. However, parents may learn a lot about their inner feelings by watching them very closely. When children are expressing their feelings they may need to get an idea of the real reason for the bad feelings. However, do not try to approve or disapprove any of their expressions unless you are sure about them.

Setting daily routines

Your children should be consistent with their daily routines. If children active and energetic, they may forget and ignore negative emotions and expressions. Routines, when carried out regularly, can easily reduce tension, stress and anxiety. Habit good routines are known to replace bad feelings with positive ones. Life style could have a big influence on the mental state of children. Let your children play and have regimen of daily exercises. Bed time routines should be observed while proper nutrition is also of paramount importance. Never ever, allow your children to drink coffee and tea in their young age (5 to 12 years). Set limits and restrictions for unproductive activities like watching too many TV shows or playing too much video game.

Teach brave and tougher behavior and mental composition

Unfamiliar and strange situations might instill a sense of fear in children. The so called fear factor usually arises when children confront strange and potentially dangerous situations. At the time of crisis, children are more likely to seek your assurance, emotional support and motivation to escape those situations. In other words, you may need to not only support them but also try to find out clues of what is happening to them and their psyche. Keep calm and do not express your reactions as they could affect your children's mental makeup.

Parents should become brave models for their children. Never ever be anxious yourself and look scared as they could affect your children too. Tell your children that this world is not dangerous to live and one can live with confidence and courage if they let go of anxiety and stressful situations.

Teach them behavioral strategies that are brave and relaxed

To remain brave and relaxed, children should learn brave behavior that can put them at ease and relaxation. Here are some brave behavior and their types:

  • In case of night fear, venture out to the garden and try to assure oneself that nothing will happen.

  • In case of closed environment, try to learn how to sing and talk to oneself by using a self talk script.

  • In case of classroom test fears, try to listen to good music and use relaxation techniques.

Anxiety need not very bad for your children. It could be very good extremely bad depending on your children's mental composition and attitude. However, parents' consistent efforts could be a big boon for child who faces anxious moments from time to time.

Featured Resource

What to Do When You Worry Too Much: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Anxiety (What to Do Guides for Kids)
By Dawn Huebner and Bonnie Matthews

Guides children and parents through the cognitive-behavioral techniques most often used in the treatment of anxiety. This interactive self-help book is the complete resource for educating, motivating, and empowering kids to overcome their overgrown worries. If you are the parent or caregiver of an anxious child, you know what it feels like to be held hostage. So does your child. Children who worry too much are held captive by their fears.

They go to great lengths to avoid frightening situations, and ask the same anxiety-based questions over and over again. Yet the answers give them virtually no relief. Parents and caregivers find themselves spending huge amounts of time reassuring, coaxing, accommodating, and doing whatever else they can think of to minimize their child's distress.


Featured Resource


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