It’s not easy being a kid, these days. We work with a lot of children who are suffering with anxiety and we want to share our tools and techniques to make life better for our Junior Clients. Here is another tool from our Counsellor Wendy Monks-Janzen who works with kids of all ages, youth and adults to help with anxiety.
Helping Your Child to Externalize Their Anxiety
Anxiety can be consuming for children and tends to speak loudly in our child’s behaviour, particularly around moments of transition, unpredictability or uncertainty, or a change in structure or routine. Children may experience separation anxiety—the struggle of un-clinging littles hands from your leg, or social anxiety—your child feeling left out at school, or specific phobias—who else’s child was terrified of wasps this summer?
Just like us, our children react to real, or imaginary, threats. The important thing to remember, is your child’s perception of threat feels real, hence their anxiety response.
A strategy that is helpful for children to reduce their anxiety involves externalization. Work with your child to give their anxiety a name and draw a picture of what anxiety looks like for them. By labeling anxiety, this provides children with a way to verbalize when they are feeling anxious—“is your spiky blue monster telling you that no one wanted to play with you at recess?”
You’re child will learn that they are in control of their anxiety—they are the boss of it!
Thanks so much, Wendy! Much appreciated!
If anyone in your family is struggling with stress or anxiety, Wendy would love to work with you. She works with children of all ages, youth, and adults.
Cheers to less stress and anxiety for all.