It’s got to be tougher being a kid now than it ever was 20 years ago. The amounts of anxieties children have now are far more common, approximately 10 to 20% of children in school experience anxiety symptoms. And, as a rule, children are under more stress now, and this isn’t just due to school pressures or conformity issues, this is also due to an increased use of technology, smartphones and tablets in particular. And while we can try to tackle this epidemic as parents, this is only one part of the equation. To help alleviate our children’s fears, we need to start thinking about reducing their stress and anxiety during their day to day lives. So, how can we do this?
Developing A Positive Self-image
So much has been spoken about the inferiority complexes children have now because of the so-called perfect people on TV, and as a result, children will feel the need to strive for that perfection every day of their life. The important thing to communicate to your children is that it’s okay to not be perfect. We can also pile pressure on our children by driving them to be the best in school or at sports, and this can lead to issues like burnout. Working hard is, of course important, but it’s also important to make mistakes. We never appear to encourage mistakes; as a result, children are afraid of making them. However, the importance of making a mistake is greatly underestimated. The fact is that the vast majority of us will learn much more from making a mistake than we ever will be getting something right the first time. So this is an important thing to accept in every aspect of your child’s life, their imperfections and mistakes are part of who they are, and this is okay.
Creating A Relaxing Space For Them
Encouraging your children to step outside of their comfort zone is all well and good, but if they don’t have a comfort zone to begin with, this will manifest in a lifelong battle with anxiety or depression. We, as parents, need to do everything we can to provide a wholesome, nurturing, and relaxing space for our children to escape to. Their bedroom is usually the place for this, so think about how you make their space somewhere that is truly relaxing and rejuvenating. A lot of children have their games consoles in their bedrooms, but instead, you may want to move things around in the house, maybe create an entertainment room where these consoles can be stored. And make your child’s bedroom just that, a bed room. Our bedrooms should be for sleeping, nothing else.
Make Sure They Sleep Well
The importance of getting a good night’s sleep is something we can all benefit from, especially young children and teenagers, who need more sleep than the average adults. So in undertaking a switch up of their bedroom, you need to do away with needless distractions and think about installing blackout blinds. Do they have a comfy bed? If not you may want to think about changing the whole bed, even the mattress, you can find some in-depth reviews here of the best type of mattresses at the moment. You should also start to think about the importance of bedtime routines, regardless of their age. This is something we can all benefit from, the importance of winding down around 45 minutes before bedtime will mean we’ll have a better quality sleep, and this means no smartphones or tablets in this period! Allocate this 45 minutes for them to indulge in a relaxing activity, like a bath or something they enjoy doing that isn’t stimulating.
Encouraging Your Child To Express Themselves
We live in a society where we are communicating to people that we need to open up more, but with children, it can be especially difficult, especially if they don’t want to burden other people with their own problems. It’s also something that we, as parents, can be guilty of, trivializing your child’s problem as something that’s not particularly important in comparison to real problems. You should never forget that if they’re upset about something, no matter how small it may be to you, it’s still important to them. If we continue to trivialize our children’s problems, the less likely they will be to come to you when they really need your help. So to overcome this, encourage your child to express themselves in how they are feeling. Openness, honesty, and being in touch with their emotions are something that children are especially good at, and we should work to encourage that, not for them to bottle their emotions up.
Set The Right Example To Your Child
Our children learn from the examples we set from the moment they’re born. So it’s only logical that they grow to emulate our own outlooks, hopes, and fears. To paraphrase This Be The Verse by Philip Larkin, we give our children our own imperfections and faults, and add a little extra for them. So by understanding the impact you have on your child very early on means that you can work with them to develop a positive mindset and opinion of themselves. Children can be very much of the once bitten, twice shy approach to life. And if you are sensitive parents, this is not a bad thing, but you do need to be aware that the sensitivity will carry through to your child, so you need to balance the sensitivity out with a certain amount of confidence. There are many ways to do this, and one of the best little things to do with your child can be done every day, much like this morning affirmation this father does with his daughter. And for those reading this that think that positive affirmations are a waste of time, the science behind it is that your brain is unable to tell the difference between what is real and what is imaginary! So if you tell yourself out loud that you are brave and confident enough, after a while, your brain will believe it.
It’s difficult to raise a child with all the qualities you want for them, as much as it’s difficult for them to grow up in the modern world. But if you can think about the right approaches to life and start to teach your children about relaxing and not giving in to anxiety and stress, this will mean a fulfilled youth, adulthood, and life.