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How to Support Children with Anxiety

Supporting children with anxiety involves a compassionate approach, understanding and practical strategies to help them navigate their feelings. Here are some top tips drawn from experts:

  1. Normalise Anxiety: Teach children that anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone experiences at times. It's the body's way of preparing us for challenges.

  2. Encourage Children to Face Fears, Not Avoid Them: Help children understand that avoiding anxiety-provoking situations reinforces anxiety. Encouraging small, manageable exposures to their fears can build resilience and confidence.

  3. Practise Relaxation Techniques: Teach your child simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation or visualisation to help them calm down when anxious.

  4. Maintain a Routine: Consistent daily routines can provide a sense of security and predictability, reducing anxiety.

  5. Listen and Validate Feelings: Offer a listening ear without judgment, validate their feelings and assure them that it's okay to feel anxious. This can make them feel supported and understood.

  6. Encourage Positive Thinking: Help children identify negative thoughts that contribute to their anxiety and practise reframing these thoughts into positive, realistic ones.

  7. Seek Professional Help if Needed: If anxiety interferes with your child's daily life, consider seeking help from a mental health professional who can provide tailored strategies and support.

By applying these strategies, you can support your child in managing their anxiety effectively and help them build coping skills for life.

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