Where the Science of Psychology Meets the Art of Being Human

Posts Tagged: anxiety in children

How to Talk to Children About Racism, Prejudice, and Protests
4th June, 2020

How to Talk to Children About Racism, Prejudice, and Protests – An Age-by-Age Guide

The world has again been shaken by trauma. Many children will be distressed and confused by what they are seeing, hearing, or experiencing. Our children will be an important part of the healing moving forward but first, we have to bring a sense of safety to their world. The conversations we have with them now are as important for that, as they are for helping them grow into the adults the world is yearning for.

When Anxiety Doesn't Look Like Anxiety - How to Recognise and Manage Anxiety in Children and Teens
15th April, 2020

When Anxiety Doesn’t Look Like Anxiety – How to Recognise and Manage Behaviour When Anxiety is the Fuel

When the world feels frightening or fragile, kids and teens might respond in ways that fall a decent way short of adorable. They might yell or hit, try to control you, refuse you, push away, push back, or just push. If their behaviour is fuelled by anxiety, it has nothing to do with ‘bad behaviour’ and everything to do with a brain that is trying to find its way back to safety.

How to Help Children and Teens Through Anxiety at Bedtime
10th January, 2020

How to Help Children and Teens Through Anxiety at Bedtime

The relationship between anxiety and sleep is a complicated one. Sleep strengthens the brain against anxiety, but anxiety at bedtime stops sleep. Anxious thoughts will intrude at bedtime when the world is still, and bodies are still, and when young minds are meant to be still – but – a lack of sleep will make anxiety worse, which will make sleep the next night tougher, which will make anxiety worse.

How to Talk to Kids and Teens About Eco-Anxiety
27th September, 2019

How to Talk to Children and Teens About Eco-Anxiety. The words that will turn anxiety into hope, courage, and direction.

The planet is hurting and our children are feeling it. For too many of our children and teens, the environmental crisis is feeling bigger than humanity’s capacity to turn it around. When this happens, eco-anxiety – anxiety about the environmental crisis – drives hopelessness, helplessness and despair, stealing their sense of safety and security in the world. As part of a humanity that is facing a global environmental crisis, we have some important work to do. We have to heal and protect our planet, and just as urgently, we need to give hope back to our children. We need to ease their anxiety, and help them discover their own power to make a difference. 

Anxiety in Children and Teens: How to Find Calm and Courage During Anxiety - What all Parents Need to Know
8th November, 2018

Anxiety in Children and Teens: How to Find Calm and Courage During Anxiety – What all Parents Need to Know

Anxiety in children and teens can make everyone feel helpless. It can come from anywhere and nowhere, and often it makes no sense at all. This is because anxiety is a primitive, instinctive response, not a rational one. Anxiety is driven by a strong, beautiful, healthy brain that is doing exactly what brains are meant to do – protect us from threat. Sometimes though, they can work a little too hard and have us avoiding the things that we’d be better moving towards.

'Don't Think of Pink Elephants!' - The Secret to Replacing Anxious, Negative Thinking With Brave Thinking
11th June, 2018

‘Don’t Think of Pink Elephants!’ – The Secret to Replacing Negative Thinking With Brave Thinking

Negative thoughts are pushy little mojo-stealing pirates. They are persuasive, intrusive, and powerful. Our thoughts will influence how we feel, which will influence what we do and how we see ourselves. For our children and teens, negative or anxious thoughts can shrink their world and dilute their capacity to own their very important place in it. Negative thoughts will do that with all of us.

Anxiety in Children - 10 Practical Strategies to Help Kids Manage Perfectionism
5th May, 2018

Anxiety in Children – 10 Practical Strategies to Help Kids Manage Perfectionism

An anxious mind is also a beautifully creative, imaginative mind. This is a great thing, except for when that imagination and creativity is being used to imagine outcomes that feel unbearable, however unlikely they may be. These thoughts of what ‘could’ happen, drive self-talk, which in turn directs behaviour towards doing whatever is necessary to avoid a bad outcome. Hello perfectionism.

Children and Perfectionism - How to Help Children Manage the Thoughts That Drive Perfectionism
14th March, 2018

Children and Perfectionism – How to Help Children Manage the Thoughts That Drive Perfectionism

It’s a condition of entry into the human race that we’re going to make mistakes. Sometimes they will be epic. When mistakes or failure happen, there are two ways to deal with it. We can let our imperfections drive into our core like rusty nails, or we can allow ourselves to feel ‘enough’ despite them – good enough, brave enough, wise enough, strong enough – even when we stumble. There’s nothing wrong with having high standards, but the problem with perfectionism in children is that for them, enough is never enough. It’s exhausting and when perfectionism takes over, the whip-cracking chase for ‘good enough’ can feel endless – but we can change that.

















Hey Warrior - A book about anxiety in children.








Hey Sigmund on Instagram

Anxiety will tell them a deficiency story - that t Anxiety will tell them a deficiency story - that they aren't brave enough, strong enough, powerful enough - but you know they are so much more than enough. You know it with everything in you. 
.
Sometimes they will believe this deficiency story, and they will hold themselves back from doing brave, hard things. This is when anxiety will slide in and try to steal their capacity for courage right from under them, so this is when they need us to show up and stand big, as the guardians of their brave. 
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Protect their courage by believing in it so much, that they won't have a choice but to believe it too. The brain wires according to the experiences it is exposed to, so think of avoidance and courage as muscles. The ones they use the most will strengthen. If you support avoidance, their need to avoid will strengthen. If you move them towards brave behaviour - as distressing as this might be - you are exposing them to the experiences that will fortify their truth - that they can feel anxious, and do brave. 
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It's okay if this happens in tiny steps. It's not the size of the movement towards brave behaviour, it's the direction that matters most. Move them towards brave, lovingly, gently, and confidently - because you know that 'brave' is in them, and anxiety doesn't change that a bit. When you are faced with the choice between believing in their anxiety or believing in their brave choose their brave, every time, and guard it with everything in you, because it's beautiful, and life-giving, and it's in them. 
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#anxietyinchildren #childanxiety #childdevelopment #parentingadvice #anxietyawareness #parenting #anxietyrelief #parenthood #anxietysupport #positiveparenting #motherhoodcommunity #parentingtips #anxiety #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #parentingtip #mindfulparenting #heyawesome #heywarrior #heysigmund

Anxiety will tell them a deficiency story - that they aren't brave enough, strong enough, powerful enough - but you know they are so much more than enough. You know it with everything in you.
.
Sometimes they will believe this deficiency story, and they will hold themselves back from doing brave, hard things. This is when anxiety will slide in and try to steal their capacity for courage right from under them, so this is when they need us to show up and stand big, as the guardians of their brave.
.
Protect their courage by believing in it so much, that they won't have a choice but to believe it too. The brain wires according to the experiences it is exposed to, so think of avoidance and courage as muscles. The ones they use the most will strengthen. If you support avoidance, their need to avoid will strengthen. If you move them towards brave behaviour - as distressing as this might be - you are exposing them to the experiences that will fortify their truth - that they can feel anxious, and do brave.
.
It's okay if this happens in tiny steps. It's not the size of the movement towards brave behaviour, it's the direction that matters most. Move them towards brave, lovingly, gently, and confidently - because you know that 'brave' is in them, and anxiety doesn't change that a bit. When you are faced with the choice between believing in their anxiety or believing in their brave choose their brave, every time, and guard it with everything in you, because it's beautiful, and life-giving, and it's in them.
.
.
.
#anxietyinchildren #childanxiety #childdevelopment #parentingadvice #anxietyawareness #parenting #anxietyrelief #parenthood #anxietysupport #positiveparenting #motherhoodcommunity #parentingtips #anxiety #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #parentingtip #mindfulparenting #heyawesome #heywarrior #heysigmund
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