Steps 4 & 5 to help your child with anxiety
I hope you had a chance to listen to your kiddos concerns using the steps from the last post.
We are working on helping your child with fear and anxiety.
Step 1: Listen!
Step 2: Validate
Step 3: Be Curious
Ready for the rest?!
Step 4: Ask: Is it true? Is it useful/helpful?
This is a CBT strategy (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) that can help your child. Sometimes thoughts and feelings fail both of these questions, it’s not true and it’s not helpful. Other thoughts might have some truth to them but they aren’t actually helping the child at all to think it. Things such as “I didn’t study for my test enough, I know I’m going to fail”. Ok, the first part might be true and there may be some truth to the second part, but…is it helpful to think that way? Probably not. Instead try, “I’ll try my best on the test and see what happens”. But what if it IS true and it is a useful thought? Then what?!
Step 5: Make space for fear and uncertainty
It’s OK and NECESSARY for kids to learn to sit with their feelings, even the uncomfortable ones. Anxiety and fear can’t always be fixed or problem solved away. Really, we don’t want that anyway! Our feelings are there to help and guide us. Imagine what life would be like without fear!? Yikes!!
There are scary things in the world, more now than ever, that our kids face every day. We certainly don’t need to dwell on them, but making space to feel our feelings can go a long way to helping our children learn how to handle these tough emotions. Your confidence that they can handle this stuff can go a long way to helping them manage their own emotions! Help them to know that these emotions will pass as long as they let them come and go, just like a wave in the ocean
Give it a try; be patient with these news skills of yours!
You can do it!
Rooting you on,