Anxiety in Kids

Anxiety in Kids

 

A topic that many people ask me about is anxiety.  They ask me “Why are more and more kids and adults being diagnosed with anxiety?”

I myself suffer from it and work with people who have it too.  Anxiety for me has now become like a manual in understanding what is going on in my life.

This is my take on anxiety. The reason more and more kids are suffering is because there is more pressure on kids today to achieve academically and in other areas of their lives.

Another thing that is happening is that we are over protecting our kids.  We are not letting them fail.  We are also making decisions for them so they do not really make decisions.  They rely on us and not on themselves.  When they have to make decisions they feel lost and do not know how to.

They are also told who they are supposed to be and they try to conform instead of getting to know who they really are.

How we can help our kids.

  1. We need to guide our kids not tell them what to do.  We need to give them choices and tools but help them make their own decisions.  When they are young it could be as easy and giving them the choice of 3 outfits and asking them to chose their favorite.
  2. Get to know your kids. What it is that they enjoy doing?  What are their talents?  Do not push your dreams on them. When you find out what they love doing encourage them.  It will be easier for your child to discover what they love.  This in turn will build confidence in themselves
  3. Observe them and see what type of learners they are. I remember when my son was a kid.  It was all about cars. When I would teach him I would talk to him in car language.  It made maths easier for him to learn. Do not assume they learn the same way you do.
  4. Do not over book your kids in activities. It puts a lot of pressure on our kids.
  5. When your child struggles with subjects don’t dwell there. Guide them and help them but focus on the good that they do.
  6. Give your kids chores and responsibilities. It will help them with building their character and give them structure too.
  7. When our kids are feeling anxious or struggling with something. Sit with them.  Ask them to breathe first.  Calm them down.  Then slowly break down the task.  Talk to them and see what is bothering them.  It is very important for children to learn to express themselves and feel that they can express themselves without judgement.
  8. Our kids become anxious when they are going to do something new. Reassure them. They go through fear because it is something that they have never done before.  Work with them and guide them to do research and learn more. Teach them to ask questions.  The more knowledge they have the less fearful they become.  Knowledge is power!
  9. Anxiety in children also comes because they don’t want to disappoint others. They don’t want to disappoint a parent or a teacher. Be careful how you speak to your kids!
  10. Anxiety comes from always expected to achieve. The fear grows when they don’t feel that they can so they don’t even try.  The opposite of perfectionism is procrastination.

In my case I struggle from anxiety and I have narrowed it down to three things.  This could help the adults that struggle too. I am sure other people have different triggers but mine are the following:

 

  1. My anxiety flares up when I am about to jump into something new.  That is very normal.  When I do it.  Everything passes.
  2. When I start something new and I don’t have the knowledge or knowhow. I get sever anxiety and that is lack of confidence in the task.  Once I start doing the work I become more confident and my anxiety goes down.
  3. When my body goes into severe anxiety over a decision I have to make, I now understand my body and what it is telling me. It is telling me that my decision is not aligned with my values. It is when I am making a decision to please others and not my soul. When this happens I sit with my decision and try to see what about the decision is wrong for me.

Many people struggle with this one.  So many people live their lives pleasing others and not really living their authentic lives.

It is time to reduce anxiety in our world.  Let us start connecting to who we truly are.  When we do that our bodies feel calm and we feel at peace.

Most importantly enjoy the journey!

 

 



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