Children experience anxiety about many different things parents may be unaware of. Parents may perceive behavioral changes and attribute it to other factors and even address those with disciplinary actions. It is important to identify first the cause of the behavioral change and if in fact it is due to anxiety, depression or other emotional issues.
If the child is dealing with anxiety here are 21 of 49 phrases Renee Jain, MAAP posted to help your child identify, work through and learn to self-soothe:
- “Can you draw it?”
- “I love you. You are safe.”
- “Let’s pretend we’re blowing up a giant balloon. We’ll take a deep breath and blow it up to the count of 5.”
- “I will say something and I want you to say it exactly as I do: ‘I can do this.’” Do this 10 times at variable volume.
- “Why do you think that is?”
- “What will happen next?”
- “We are an unstoppable team.”
- “I am a warrior!”; “I am unstoppable!”; or “Look out World, here I come!”
- “If how you feel was a monster, what would it look like?”
- “I can’t wait until _____.”
- “Let’s put your worry on the shelf while we _____ (listen to your favorite song, run around the block, read this story). Then we’ll pick it back up again.”
- “This feeling will go away. Let’s get comfortable until it does.”
- “Let’s learn more about it.”
- “Let’s count _____.”
- “I need you to tell me when 2 minutes have gone by.”
- “Close your eyes. Picture this…”
- “I get scared/nervous/anxious sometimes too. It’s no fun.”
- “Let’s pull out our calm-down checklist.”
- “You are not alone in how you feel.”
- “Tell me the worst thing that could possibly happen.”
- “Worrying is helpful, sometimes.”
Take advantage of an opportunity to teach your child soothing skills they will use for life. Most of these phrases serve as distractive from the anxiety to return the child anxiety and stress response back to base. Read the rest of these phrases and the explanation behind each one here.