All parents will face stressful moments at one point or another, when it comes to parenting and taking care of their child. However, it becomes even more challenging for the parents when the children have anxiety. Thus, how do you cope with anxiety during your day-to-day activities? Here are 5 tips in coping with anxiety.
1. Manage your expectations
While it is natural for all parents to have expectations of their children, it is important not to be impatient and to stress yourself over their seemingly slower progress. A child with anxiety tends to take longer to accomplish certain tasks. Hence, do not compare with the other children but take pride in the fact that your child eventually succeeds in accomplishing the task as well.
2. Set aside time allowance in day-to-day activities
Do you find that it takes a lot of time to coax your child to change and get ready for school? Or does it take a lot of effort to get the child to finish with breakfast? Understand that a child with anxiety may require more time to get ready. However, this is not something which can be rushed. Impatience may backfire and worsen the child’s anxiety.
Hence, set aside extra time whenever you are preparing the child to get ready for various activities, be it in going to school or to get him or her to fall asleep. By setting aside extra time allowance to prepare the child to be ready for regular activities, this reduces the chances of you panicking and being frustrated from being late for your next appointment
3. Try to keep to a routine
Sometimes, anxiety may arise if the child is not prepared for certain tasks. Thus, keeping a routine for day-to-day activities may facilitate in ensuring that the child is prepared to accomplish the various tasks or activities required. By following a planned schedule or a constant routine, the child is aware of the list of activities in store for him or her and reduces the possibility of anxiety “attacks”.
4. Compliment the child whenever he or she completes a task
It is important to develop the child’s personal strength and confidence. How do you do that? Showering a child with compliments is one effective way. Whenever the child does something right, do remember to shower her with compliments as a form of encouragement for the child to continue such good behavior. In contrast, avoid using punishments because it may worsen the child’s anxiety.
5. Challenge the worries, rather than dismiss the worries
If the child poses a “what if” scenario and expresses worry and anxiety over the topic, do not dismiss the question with generic assurance. Phrases such as “it will not happen” or “not to worry, you will be fine” are not effective because he or she does not feel fine and will not feel assured. Instead, “Challenge” the question and address the child’s concern with a specific explanation which elaborates on why the worry is unfounded, to put the child at ease.
To further facilitate in coping with anxiety, the child can also learn to do proper breathing exercises which will aid the child in calming down.