the big five

the big five tips to help children who worry

It is normal for all of us to worry or feel concerned but when our children are worrying it is not always possible to spot the signs and when we do, its sometimes hard to know what to do to help.

 

So here are our 5 top tips for helping children to deal with their worries:

 

1. try to stay calm

Children will always look to their parent or primary carer if they feel uncertain about things and this will often determine their reaction. How many children do you know who are frightened of spiders when their parents have the same phobias?  Responses to worries are exactly the same, so try to stay calm when you are around your children as much as possible. Have conversations about your own fear away from little ears.

 

2. encourage your children to talk to you about their fears or concerns.

For very young children they may struggle to understand or communicate how they feel, but bed wetting and not sleeping are both indicators that your child could be worrying about something.

 

3. help your child to problem solve.

Taking small chunks of their worries, encourage them to start to consider what may make them feel better? Try not to tell your child what you think, but perhaps suggest some courses of action and let you child chose something they feel comfortable to try. This will encourage them to start to work through their problems.

 

4. encourage a bedtime routine.

Try to set a regular routine that enables your child to unwind at the end of a day and prepares them for bed. Bath and bedtime stories are always a good start and spending that time with your child can help to reassure and relax them.

 

5. breathe.

Encourage your child to think about their breathing at a time when they feel anxious. Practice with them taking 5 long deep breaths. In through their nose and out through their mouth. If they still feel worried repeat this. Some children find it easier to fix on something when doing this, for example pushing their palms together or touching a forefinger and thumb .

For lots of practical ideas about working through worries sign up to our newsletter for ideas of activities to support you and your child.

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