Raise your hand if you have ever felt anxious. *All hands raise.*
Now, raise your hand if you have ever seen your child deal with anxious thoughts and feelings. *All hands raise.*
No surprise, feeling anxious is an incredibly common experience. But confusingly, it is also unbelievably isolating. You and your children may feel you are the only ones with anxiety and fears, braving anxiety island all by your lonesome.
Most everybody experiences anxiety at some point in their life—there’s both good and bad news to this. The bad news is, of course, that anxiety can be very uncomfortable and challenging to work through. But now, the good news! Because there are so many people who experience these feelings, focused research on the topic has yielded a great deal of information about anxiety, including ways to manage the symptoms.
While our gut instinct with anxiety and fear is to turn away from the trigger, studies show that reacting in that way can actually make anxiety worse. When we hide from our fears and worries, we temporarily feel safe, which is nice in the short term, but in the long term, it actually reinforces the danger of our fear, making it feel that much scarier. When we do the opposite—facing our fears with intention and planning—we learn that we can handle and tolerate the anxiety. We can even engage in coping techniques to decrease the discomfort as it happens! The more we do this, and the more we encourage our children to do this, the smaller the fears and anxieties become and the more capable we feel!
Help educate your children about anxiety, empowering them with awareness while opening the conversation to help normalize their experience with these age-specific worksheets
! You and your kids can bravely face your fears and anxieties!