Anxiety triggers to avoid
Avoiding the following anxiety triggers will promote a sense of security and stability in your anxious child, giving him the foundation for coping with his hotwired brain and sensitive personality:
FAMILY CONFLICT. Turn down the drama and count to 10 if you have to, before saying or doing something you will, almost definitely, regret later.
TALKING ABOUT TROUBLES. Regularly talking about money problems and world politics in front of your children can contribute to insecurity.
PHYSICAL PUNISHMENT. This doesn’t solve anything, argues Andrew, and increases biological stress, which in turn fuels anxiety.
GOSSIP. Negative comments about school, teachers, other people, friends or anyone else creates a pattern of negativity – a prime breeding ground for fear and anxiety.
WATCH YOUR MOUTH. We all have bad days, and we’ve all done it: ridicule, sarcasm and shaming. Observe yourself and “tone down your tone” − especially when you’re feeling emotional.
MIND YOUR BAGGAGE
Comparing your child’s fears or anxieties to your own should only be done positively. For example, saying: “I used to feel scared of leaving my mom sometimes. My teacher helped me to have fun while mom was away, and I enjoyed painting and drawing until she came back to fetch me.” YELLS AND THREATS. It can be frustrating and exhausting when everybody else’s child seems quite happy, and yours isn’t. That’s OK, says Andrew, as nobody is built quite the same way. Constantly remind yourself there are always solutions, and you are your child’s champion – and firmly stop yourself from allowing your fear of failure as a parent to leak into conversation with your child. Getting back to basics – sleep, good food, play, laughter and a firm, loving family base – are ideal antidotes to an anxious mindset. Yes, you may need to seek professional help for your little one if the issue persists, but focus on building a strong foundation first. LL