If your child never seems to see the light at the end of the tunnel and is always anxious, there are ways you can help him or her learn to cope. He doesn’t always have to worry and you can show him why. However, if what you tell him doesn’t MAKE SENSE to him, then he won’t be too willing to believe “everything will be fine”. Here are some things to think about when dealing with a worried child.
- Sometimes TV shows lead to excessive worry. If the characters in the show he/she is watching are constantly worried about “what will happen next” or “what everyone will think”, they are teaching your child first-hand how to view his world. If this is the only indication he has, he is receiving very negative feedback and will see his world this way unless you show him a different way to view it.
- When children start to realize there are more people in their world than just them, worry sometimes sets in. They start to wonder if they are good enough. They wonder if they measure up to others and they begin to compare themselves to everyone else. This is a perfect opportunity to encourage them. Show them that their differences are a positive thing and explain that they are perfect just the way they are. This is a time to encourage them to continue to be themselves and not try to be what others want.
- Help them to understand that you are the parent and to leave the every-day concerns to you. A child worrying about bills or where they’re going to sleep is not acceptable. Explain that you are there to take care of those things and don’t let your child take that on his or her shoulders. Too often I see children bearing the weight and stress of living expense worries. Please be careful what you speak about when your children are around. You may think they aren’t noticing or hearing the conversation but more times than not, they are and do.
- Does your child enjoy watching the news? As we all know, there are SOME things on the news that are nice to hear and learn about but have you ever noticed the majority is negative? If we, as adults, have to try to guard ourselves from all of the negative stories we hear on the news, imagine how difficult it would be for a child to do that. Be sure to limit his time watching the news or keep the watching to the parts that are more educational than others.
These are a few ways to get you started in helping your child start to view his or her world differently. I’d love to be able to teach you how to do more!