Firstly, I’ll share some thoughts that can be helpful for us, as adults to keep in mind: ‘What’s in the way is the way’.
Instead of seeing this anxiety as a problem that is in the way, consider it as the way – an opportunity – to deepen connection and communication.
A strong emotional reaction can be seen as a negative, or it can be seen as an opportunity to expand the family’s emotional intelligence. Our feelings are never wrong, it’s what we do with them that counts. Look for opportunities to chat about times when we might feel anxious and how our anxiety can be helpful.
For example, when we see something strange or that looks scary, we may feel anxious because we don’t know if this is safe. Our anxiety keeps us alert, watching out for any danger. If we didn’t feel anxious we might not keep ourselves safe.
So here are a few tips to help your child when anxiety threatens to overwhelm.
Rather than dismissing your child’s experience, acknowledge it. For example, “You don’t like that scary witch” if you see a shop window display. Right now it’s their reality, even if we don’t experience it.