Try teaching your kids these tips to navigate anxiety….
- Acknowledge that they may be feeling BIG feelings. Help them witness their thoughts and feelings vs. getting all cozy with them. A great thing to say to them, “Don’t believe your feelings – believe your values.” Feel your feelings but don’t always follow your feelings. Feelings are like weather patterns. They come and go. Trust that they will pass. Tell them to remind themselves of this over and over.
- Anxiety wants you to believe any given situation needs an answer. It doesn’t. It may feel like it, but know this too shall pass. Pretend you are in the bleachers of a basketball game. You do not have to decide which team to join. You are watching the game. Again, do not believe all the thoughts in your head.
- Help your kids get to know the way their mind works. Teach them to understand the difference between what MIND TRAP or CROOKED THINKING and MIND JOY. CROOKED THINKING is the place where your NO NO NO lives and MIND JOY is where your YES YES YES lives.
- Guide them in ways to remind themselves this – I WILL GET THROUGH THIS. I am landing back in my body. The tendency is to reassure them that they are okay. That may seem like your job as the parent, but it’s ultimately not always in their best interest.
- Reassure them that you are here to help them learn new ways of thinking.