Hi, I’m Sarah and one of my greatest passions is to help people reconnect with their innate, inner potential to increase their energy and live life vibrantly. As a wellbeing mentor I draw upon my skills as a homeopath, coach, massage therapist and reiki practitioner to offer a truly holistic healing experience where all challenges – be they physical, mental, emotional or spiritual – are met with compassion and skill to release the ties of a redundant past to reveal a more promising future.
One of the best things you can do to help your child’s anxiety is to attend to your own.
Children pick up on so much and they will be looking to you to feel safe, nurtured and cared for.
A child’s world (particularly up to the age of 7) is a landscape of sensations in the body – not quite the emotions that you or I feel as adults – but an acute sensory filter of the environment around them.
In times of high crisis, they can potentially begin to feel an array of sensations at quite an intense level, and they do not necessarily have the vocabulary or ability to explain exactly what it is they are feeling. This is what we see when a ‘tummy ache’ is in fact feeling worried. For them, it is literally a tummy ache! We can appreciate this when we think of the times we have had ‘butterflies in our stomachs’ or feelings of nausea when we experience anxiety.
As adults though, we are able to use our rational mind to help make sense of such things.
Children have not yet developed this tool to rationale – and let’s face it, it’s not always the strongest muscle reflex in us adults either is it?!
Right now, in this moment, are you feeling anxious about what is actually around you? (Maybe)
Or are you anxious about the thought of how terrible things ‘could’ get? (Likely)
Anyway…back to the little folk…
So, they are feeling all sorts of new sensations, all kinds of new emotions they are yet to have a label for, and it’s likely they’ll not have the ability to fully make sense of any of them.
So they will look to you to do that.
Not only that, they will copy you.
In order to learn – something children are constantly doing – they do so primarily through copying — or modelling — the behaviours of those closest to them: which will of course be you.
The most single effective thing you can do to ease your child’s anxieties, is to address your own and be mindful of how you are illustrating, explaining and interpreting this unfolding new normal.
It’s not sustainable or realistic to expect yourself to hide everything from your children.
So, through uncertainty you must create certainty.
You can create certainty through consistency, structure and absolutely thorough love.
For more details, here are 3 things worth keeping in mind.
Consistency, Structure & Absolute Love.
I’m not suggesting that you have to — consistently — always be in a good mood: I’m talking about the consistency of truth.
It’s about you being honest about how your own emotional rollercoaster is affecting you so they can ride it safely with you, strapped tightly in the child’s seat of the ride — but not in your seat.
And remaining at your side rather than watching you from a position far away and wondering if you’re having fun or fearing if you’ll crash.
I’m not talking about the structure of home-schooling, I’m talking about the structure of your own private family unit, and how you use that to fill, pass and enjoy the hours in each and every day.
Look at the structures that work for you – meals at the table, a good bedtime routine etc. – and ensure that every day, there is some kind of structure to help them feel protected.
→ Absolute love…
I’m not talking about the kind of love that is a ‘display to others’ because of being pulled online and wanting to be seen to be doing the right thing. I’m talking about the kind of love that allows you to look at yourself in the mirror, and in your children’s eyes, and know, deep-down, that you are loving them…and yourself — the best you can, of course, throughout all this.
Forgiveness and love come hand-in-hand, so make space in your heart for a whole lot of forgiving.
Because you are going to shout, you are going to cry, you are going to tear your hair out, you are going to need to steal some moments for yourself, and they are going to push the boundaries and be moody and be needy, and have their own displays of expressed anxiety.
Because they are people too!
Yet you are going to do all those things, and allow all those things to happen, in the name of love…and not from the call of fear.
The number one thing you can do to help your children, is to help yourself. They need you to be ok. They will be just fine…if you are.
Lots of love
Check out our NLP & Hypnosis online courses: