As a parent, watching your child struggle with anything can be difficult. Whether it be friendships, injuries or one of life’s many obstacles, our instinct is always to swoop in and save them by fixing the problem. But what happens when your child faces anxiety? It’s much harder to ‘fix’ a feeling isn’t it? Thankfully, as a supportive adult, helping a child feel understood is actually more important (and easier for that matter) than trying to solve the problem.
Rather than hide from anxiety or ignore it, we can actually learn a lot from it if we stay curious. Our bodies often signal to us that anxiety is approaching, and when we examine it like a detective, we can start to learn what triggers it. It can also be difficult to know what to say when your child is stuck in an unpleasant emotion, so here are some helpful phrases that you can use to show support without having all of the answers! We’ve put a few of our favorites below:
Can you draw it?
This feeling will go away. Let’s get comfortable until it does.
What do you need from me?
Let’s find some evidence.
Take a look and see which phrases fit how your family communicates. No need to reinvent the wheel, just look for the phrases that stick out to you as something you’d actually say at home.