Are we near? How long will this take? Is it time? As the child grows, he experiences new situations all the time, and that is more than enough for him to feel anxious easily. How to help the child cope better with such anticipation?
First, we need to remember that anxiety is a natural feeling. Also, although it seems to be bad, is an important biological function. It is what awakens an “alarm system” in the body, helping the person deal with situations of threat or danger.
The problem is when it gets out of control – interfering with the routine. When anxiety strikes, the child (and anyone else) may experience physical sensations such as rapid heartbeat, sweaty hands, tremors, shortness of breath and even dizziness.
A change of school or town, for example, may sound like a threat to the child, and he must deal with it. In addition, for him, time passes more slowly, and even something good (like waiting for a gift) causes an unending anxiety. So, the more familiar your child is with that feeling, the better. Here are some activities that will help your child handle this feeling.
When anxiety seems to be too much, relaxation may be the best way. Teaching the child to take a deep breath for a few moments, thinking of good things or somewhere that brings tranquility (it can be the beach, a walk, etc.) helps to reverse uncomfortable sensations and calm the mind.
If the child is afraid of elevator, you don´t need to take the ladder with him. Holding his hand and quietly keeping the path until the right floor can work. So, the message is: if you feel anxious it is normal, but you should not avoid something because of it. Without confronting, avoiding, and respecting each child’s time, the chances of the anxiety going beyond normal and causing some phobia are reduced.
What about a talk?
The best way to help your child is to recognize what is happening. Talking about the symptoms he feels, and about situations that cause anxiety may be a good start. Explaining the importance and function of anxiety also helps. Another way to establish a dialogue is to talk about your own concerns and how you have been able to overcome them. Listen to what your child has to say.