Got an Anxious Kid? Why You Should Name Your Child’s Anxiety.
Part 2 of a 5 Part Series on Child Anxiety
Read it, watch it, whatever works for you.
Children with anxiety can be self-haters. I’ve seen this over and over again in my therapy practice. Anxious kids tell me they feel stupid, insecure and paranoid. They wonder why they are paralyzed with fear, while everyone around them looks just fine. A child’s anxiety can cause tons of self-doubt.
Anxiety is a self-esteem killer. Trust me, I know. I’ve been there. You can help your anxious child by naming your child’s anxiety. We aren’t trying to crush them, we are trying to crush their anxiety. You can do this by teaming up with your child and making your child’s anxiety the nemesis for both of you!
The first thing I do when I meet a child with anxiety in my practice is to 1) explain the signs of child anxiety and how anxiety works and 2) give the child’s anxiety a name of their choice.
I have helped kids with anxiety crush a:
Mr. False Alarm
And a zillion other names children with anxiety have given to their ultimate nemesis.
When your child’s anxiety has a name, instead of saying this to your anxious child:
“You’re fine. Go to sleep!”
You’d say this…
“Tell your Worry Cloud to leave you alone. Tell your worry cloud that you are safe in this house.”
The first sentence doesn’t address your child’s anxiety and will probably make them feel frustrated and misunderstood.
The second sentence talks to your child’s anxiety, not your child and it offers your anxious child alternative thoughts to fight back and beat anxiety.
I have watched this simplistic approach help thousands of anxious children in my therapy practice (and three of my own). When you externalize your child’s anxiety and creating a wacky character they are trying to defeat, you build their skills much faster.
This is Part 2 of a 5 Part Series on child anxiety. If you missed Part 1 check it out here. Part 1 talks about unusual signs of anxiety in Children.
Coming up next in Part 3 – the most important thing parents can be doing to help their anxious kids. Don’t forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel so you don’t miss the rest of the series!
Other Articles on Child Anxiety: