Anxiety, and in particular, social anxiety, can get in the way of kids making connections with others. Friendship and playing with others is such a key component in a child’s life, and it can be hard to see them struggle with finding a connection with others. Here are some tips that to help alleviate some anxiety when children are faced with a situation that causes them fear or makes them uncomfortable.
1. Imagine a Calm Place
Have your child close their eyes and imagine a place where they feel calm. I’ve had a number of children tell me their calm places over the years, and I’m always surprised at the variety in their answers. I’ve heard some more expected answers like the beach, their bedroom or a garden. But I’ve also heard some more unexpected answers like on stage performing in front of a huge audience or imagining themselves on a cloud. Check in with your child and see what they say and what works for them!
2. Relaxation Script
Here’s a relaxation script that I have used with children through the years to help them relax different parts of their body. Once you have gone through the script a few times, kids can use it on their own when faced with an anxious situation.
3. Physical Activities
Physical activities like karate, yoga, gymnastics, or dance produce endorphins which reduces stress levels. Find an activity your child is interested in and go for it!
This is a great book for kids to help them figure out and manage their anxiety. I’ve used it multiples times with kids and they’ve given me positive feedback about it.
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