Helping Your Child Manage Daily Worries
As adults, we make think it strange or unbelievable that our children could worry and stress as much as us adults do in our world. We are juggling, jobs, relationships, money etc. It is easy to think when our children come to us with worries to think- all they have to do is go to school, come home, do homework and maybe do an after school activity- what could possibly be weighing on them? However, there are a lot more things to consider when you child has been brave enough to tell you that they are worrying about friends at school, trying a new skill, or even afraid to sleep alone.
If/when your child does come to you for reassurance or sharing of their worries, praise them and thank them for communicating that to you instead of explaining how there is much more you worry about than them. Worry and stress should never be a competition in the home.
Next, ask as specific of questions as you can about what is worrying them, how often, and it may even be helpful to give a scale of 1-10, 10 being a really big worry. You can use this as a scale moving forward to order to understand what they are experiencing.
Explore if there are any ways you can switch around a schedule or include more stability in their schedule so that they can know what to expect more or plan ahead more. Children are able to relax more when expectations are set like bedtime, after school schedule, morning routine etc.
Normalize that all people have worries! Explain how you as an adult combat worries in the past. For example, maybe you started planning ahead helps you have less stress. Or perhaps your started paying attention to your thinking and how you are always jumping to the worst case scenario has derailed you in the past. Another possibility is modeling breathing while you are in traffic or frustrated so that they can see there are ways to manage worries, and how sometimes naming them and talking about them can make them less scary.