What’s the solution?
There are myriad ways to boost your child’s brain into being less anxious and more resilient, but the key is to start with the basics and celebrate every step towards less stress, Andrew advises.
The foundation of a less anxious mindset is a healthy diet and environment, coupled with supportive parents with a can-do attitude.
FOCUS ON FOOD. Get takeaways only once a month, increase vegetables and avoid soft drinks.
GET A GOOD NIGHT’S REST. Explore ways to soothe your little one into a peaceful sleep and nail down a consistent bedtime routine. Even if it doesn’t work well, the idea is still there, and provides a sense of security and boundaries (something anxious children, in particular, need).
I LOVE YOU! You can’t tell your child this enough – lavish him with affection.
THAT’S INTERESTING! Show enthusiasm for, and interest in, any new ideas he has.
GO ON, HAVE A GO! Encourage attempting something new and remind him, again and again, that mistakes are not only allowed, but normal. Even the smallest step is a big step, such as holding Dad’s hand, rather than Mom’s, during an outing.
NAP OR QUIET TIME. The brain is hard-wired to become overcrowded by sensory input, so time away from noise and people is important.
ENCOURAGE SPORT AND
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY. This helps both brain and body to relax.
TAKE FAMILY WALKS.
| L&L I BELIEVE IN YOU. Tell your child this often, in simple, ageappropriate language. He needs to know he has a champion. As parents, we need to constantly check in with ourselves, too, and our own behaviour, says Andrew.