Monday, May 16, 2016

13 phrases to calm an anxious child

I recently stumbled upon this article: 13 phrases to calm an anxious child. I have written about the highly sensitive child previously on my Blog. Abigail has actually, just this past year, been growing out of her extreme shyness. She is talking to people and truly blowing us away by how different she is from just one year ago.

But when it comes down to it, I have three children that are a bit on the more shy, more subdued, less outgoing side of life. While they vary when and how they do it, Isaac, Sidge, and Abigail, aren't extroverts by nature. At least not at this stage in life. (I greatly believe this can morph and change.)

Hannah. Oh Lordy. She's a whole different entity. That chick is seriously the leader of all her siblings despite being the youngest. (Okay. Yes. She's the oldest by conception date. We think it all may stem from the number of years she was frozen.)

We don't see this slight shyness as a bad thing in any sense of the word. We see this as how God made them. This is who they are. The world is made of all kinds of people, and they will not all be the same. When I see parents giving their children guilt-trips about the fact that, "I paid all this money and you are just sitting here not wanting to participate," I cringe. There is a reason that the child feels anxiety. There is a reason that they feel nervous. Yes, we must push a bit. But we must push correctly.

Sidge and Abigail need these phrases the most. I try to use these types of things often when they approach a situation that seems to big for them. As they get older we'll change how we do things, but for now, we don't force them into new situations without making sure they are ready for them. We respect that they feel the world a bit differently than one might think is the "norm."

What to Say to Calm an Anxious Child

  • “I am here; you are safe.” 
  • “Tell me about it.” 
  • “How big is your worry?” 
  • “What do you want to tell your worry?” 
  • “Can you draw it?” 
  • “Let’s change the ending.” 
  • “What other things do you know about (fill in the blank)?” 
  • “Which calming strategy do you want to use?” 
  • “I’m going to take a deep breath.” 
  • “It’s scary AND…” 
  • “I can’t wait to hear about…” 
  • “What do you need from me?”
  • “This feeling will pass.” 

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