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Mental Health

Struggling with School Anxiety: Effective Adult Intervention

Kids who experience anxiety don’t have to be limited by it, though it can be a severe challenge. In actuality, many anxious children have amazing potential and are highly creative and thoughtful. Sadly, anxiety can occasionally make it challenging for children to interact with the outside world and realize their full potential. Adults who are encouraging can help with that. Adults may assist children in overcoming their anxieties and accomplishing their goals by giving them direction and skills to help manage anxiety. Anxious children can learn to control their worries and concentrate on their favorite activities with the correct support.

  1. Nothing should be off-limits.

One of the most important actions you can do to support children is to reassure them that nothing is off-limits. Encourage children to come to you with anything, regardless of how challenging or awkward the subject may be. Even if they are unsure of how to begin or what to say, simply expressing their want to speak with you is an amazing starting step. You may encourage youngsters to open up and share their ideas and emotions by creating a safe and encouraging environment. 

  1. Tell them you are capable of managing anything.

Let them know that you can manage anything they might discuss with you as a trustworthy adult in their life. No matter how challenging or uncomfortable the subject may be, it’s important to maintain calmness and show your support. You may encourage youngsters to open up and share their thoughts and feelings by promoting a secure and judgment-free environment. Keep in mind that they are sharing with you because they want to include you in their world and because they trust you. 

  1. Set a time for your conversation that has a clear start and finish.

Setting a regular time for interaction with your youngster is an excellent idea. They may feel comfortable sharing their feelings and thoughts in this setting. Make sure they are aware of their ability to end the talk at any time. Kids may just need to talk about a difficult day or circumstance. You don’t want them to feel overly questioned after all. Even if the discussion is challenging, they may always repeat it later. You’ll be aware of any major issues and be able to assist. You may strengthen your bond with your child and give them a sense of support by scheduling regular chat times.

  1. Don’t judge, criticize, or pressure them to overcome it.

Even though what they are doing might not be effective for them, it is all they are capable of doing at the moment. Be the person who “gets it” from their perspective. Relax because doing this won’t make them more anxious. You’ll be verifying them in this process. They can start responding from a position of strength if they feel recognized. Criticizing, judging, or demanding a different answer will only make them feel more insecure and frustrate you from them. 

  1. They must know you understand.

Encouraging them not to be concerned would simply make life more difficult for everyone. Their emotions will be pushed back more forcefully, the more you struggle against them. Instead of forcing them to be somewhere else, be with them where they are. When individuals feel anxious, their brains are in “fight or flight” mode. It has little time for logical thought because it is focused on surviving. Their instinctual, reacting part of the brain “disconnects” from the logical, reasoning part. You have a significant role to play in changing this. Maintain your composure and softly let them know that you realize how they’re suffering and that you feel. 

  1. Give them words for whatever emotions they may be suffering.

It’s beneficial to teach your youngster fresh words for their emotions. You can begin by guessing their emotions, but if you’re wrong, let them correct you. You can say something like, “You seem angry/sad/confused.” They may believe that you are more understanding as a result. Tell them you understand how they react and that it’s alright to feel that way. 

  1. Anxiety and bravery can coexist. Show it to them.

People often believe that brave people are fearless, however, this is not the case. When pushed to their limits, everyone feels nervous. Anxiety can be a sign that you’re going to undertake something extremely bold. Everyone has things that are difficult for them and things that are simple for them. It’s normal to feel anxious at times, but children may believe they’re the only ones. You can make your youngster feel better by telling them about instances when you are nervous but yet act strong. This can make them feel more normal and encourage them to believe in themselves.

  1. When they are calm, grab the information you require.

Have a discussion about what you might be able to do to improve the situation when the anxiousness is at its worst when everything is peaceful and cheerful. Find out what they think helps and what you are doing that doesn’t. Try not to take anything seriously while you observe.

  1. Observe each and every step.

Children who experience school anxiety are typically exceptionally disciplined and wish to act ethically. To them, receiving your approval is everything. Pay attention when kids complete tasks that would be challenging under stressful circumstances, even if it’s only eating dinner or putting their hair up in a ponytail. Their fear is quite strong.

  1. Understand why being tough is ineffective.

If your child is struggling with anxiety, being tough on them may not help. Anxiety is caused by a physical response in the brain that makes it think it’s in danger. This causes the brain to release chemicals that can make your child feel terrible. They want to be like other kids who don’t have trouble going to school. They don’t like feeling anxious, so telling them to “toughen up” won’t help. When the brain is in survival mode, it’s focused on staying safe, and it won’t stop just because someone is being tough on them. It’s important to understand that anxiety is not caused by bad behavior or soft parenting. Kids with anxiety just want to feel normal like everyone else. It can be hard when people make you feel judged by suggesting that tough love is all that’s needed. But trust yourself, you’re doing a great job!

And Lastly!

Change will most likely not occur overnight, just as anxiety did not occur overnight. Any improvement is significant. Anxiety can be challenging to control, but it is possible. There will be steps forward and steps back, but the forward steps will increase in number while the backward steps will decrease. Don’t overlook the impact you’re having by being present, trusting in them, and seeing them for the magnificent people they are, not just despite but also because of their anxieties.