Here are a few ideas that you can use to help your child overcome anxiety. You don’t have to try them in any particular order. Children may respond differently to the different tasks, so be guided by their reactions as to which is most beneficial to them at the time. Please note: this is not an exhaustive list of things you can do — if you are concerned about your child’s level of anxiety, make sure to seek advice from a mental health professional.
Explain what anxiety is to help the child recognise it and understand what is happening.
Introduce calming techniques and mindfulness:
give a slow breathing task
use the five senses grounding task
do some yoga stretches
Physical reassurance - ask if you can give them a hug or hold their hand.
Art therapy - to help express feelings they can’t put into words.
Verbal action - tell the worry to “Go away!"
Recognise even the smallest efforts and build the child’s confidence to ‘have a go’.
Do something fun together to give the child a break from their worries.
Try to not ‘fix’ everything - children need to learn how to cope and overcome challenges.
Help the child to write or draw a checklist of anxiety-busting strategies.
Visualisation - ask them to remember a time when they overcame anxiety previously.
Visualisation - ask the child to draw what it will look like when they have overcome their anxiety-inducing situation.
Model your own techniques - show or explain what you choose to do when you feel anxious.
These hints are expanded upon in the back of the children’s book "How Big Are Your Worries, Little Bear?", a beautifully illustrated story written to help children manage and overcome anxiety, anxious thoughts, stress and fearful situations.
Little Bear is a worrier. He worries about everything! But with Mama Bear’s help, he soon learns his worries are not so big after all. Through this engaging story children will learn that everyday worries and fears can be overcome. Discussion questions and extra hints to help children manage anxiety are included.
More resources to help teach Social and Emotional Intelligence:
Learning to recognise how another is feeling, showing kindness, and taking the time to really listen develops our ability to connect to one another in compassionate and meaningful ways. Story is the perfect vehicle to help children learn these strategies and how to cope with the many challenges of life they will encounter as they grow into adulthood. The four books in this bundle explore these topics in a way all children will relate to and engage with.
You, Me and Empathy
How Big Are Your Worries Little Bear?
Talking About Feelings
Optional Extra: 12 Lesson Plans for Teachers ($10AU), covering the topic of Social and Emotional Intelligence. Total price shown above will update if this option is selected.