Are you and your kids feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed these days? Does the current events of the country and world have your kids anxious? Today, I am sharing Healthy Coping Skills for Kids with Anxiety and Worry. If your kids are feeling anxious from stressful situations in the world or a difficult situation in the home, these are effective ways to help your children deal with anxiety.

 

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Help Kids Deal with Worry and Stress 

Right now, there are so many uncertainties in our world and the news is coming at us minute by minute. Every family I talk with is managing mental health concerns. If these are the big emotions we are experiencing, imagine how our kids are feeling! Whether or not they understand the full extent of what is going on, kids can read their parents emotions. If they sense you are stressed, they will feel that way too!

Today, I wanted to share some ways we can help keep the calm in our own families and ease some of the anxiety and worry our kids are feeling right now.

 

Coping Skills for Kids with Anxiety

As a parent, you might feel stressed and worried about a personal situation or current event in the world. It can be hard to help your own kids when you are also struggling! These effective coping skills for kids with anxiety are the strategies that adults can use as well!

1. Maintain a Routine

First and foremost, the best way to provide a sense of calm and peace in the home is to develop and maintain strong routines! Kids thrive on routines. So, even if your situation has changed, it is good to give the kids a sense of routine. When there is no routine in the house, kids can feel very unsettled.

Family routines include when kids go to bed and get up in the morning, when meals are served, what the schedule looks like during the week and the weekend.

It is important to try as much as possible to stick to a daily routine. When kids know what to expect about their days and weeks, they feel a lot less anxious.

If your kids are on break from school, adjust your family’s routine accordingly. Whenever the kids are on a school break, it always take a few days or weeks to adjust to our new normal.

It is really reassuring for kids to know that their schedule is stable, especially when other aspects of their life might feel a little out of control.

2. Practice Healthy Habits

Another great way to help kids manage their anxiety is to practice healthy habits! This includes making sure they get enough sleep, food, water and regular exercise.

These healthy habits can help with managing anxiety:

  • Daily Exercise: We all know that exercise is great for the mind and body! Carve out some time in your schedule to work out as a family or get outside and take a family walk. This 1000 Hours of Outside Time is a good way to challenge your family to spend more time outside. Fresh air does amazing things for the mind and body!
  • Proper Nutrition: Limit sugar and caffeine. Kids should be eating wholesome and nutritious meals. Kids who are not eating well can develop illness which can lead more anxiety.
  • Getting Enough Sleep: Sleep can be hard for anxious children. Make sure there is a bedtime routine and that kids are getting the recommended hours of sleep.
  • Meditation and Mindfulness: One activity that has amazing health benefits is deep breathing and meditation. There are a lot of great programs for Kids on Meditation including Go Noodle on YouTube. The App is also a great meditation tool for kids. When kids are experiencing anxious feelings, teach them to take a few deep breathes. This is really empowering for anxious kids to see that they can help to improve their own anxiety!
  • Visualization: Visualization can be a part of the mindfulness routine or done on its own. It is a really powerful tool! Guide the anxious child to think about a happy situation or how they want a particular situation to go.

Mornings and evenings are a good time to practice deep breaths and relaxation techniques.

Another healthy habit to manage anxiety in kids is Yoga!  You can start or wind down your day as a family with a Yoga routine. This Yoga Card Deck is really fun for young children! Pick out a few Yoga cards to do each day!

RELATED POST: GRATITUDE JOURNAL FOR KIDS

3. Limit News and Social Media 

It can be hard to avoid reading the latest headlines and feel upset about another sad story. Yes, we want to be informed, but our kids do not need to be exposed to all of the tragic and scary situations in the world.

If we as adults have a hard time processing the news, just imagine what our kids are feeling! Sometimes, kids get their news sources from friends and school. We as parents, need to filter the information that they are receiving about world events right now. We can provide them with the information that they need that is founded in truth and logic. It is okay to maintain a healthy relationship with the news and social media. As a parent, you can set a good example by limiting your phone and television screen time.

If your kids are old enough to watch the news, be sure to watch the news with them. Talk about what was discussed on the news as a family and filter through the information. Do not let your kids watch the same news story over and over. 

Provide your kids with age appropriate information. A four year old does not need to know the same level of details as a 13 year old.

In order to keep our kids away from the news, we might need to limit how much we are watching or reading. Remind yourself that you do NOT need to read every single update. Maybe decide on a time of the day that you will check in with the latest news. Put your phone down otherwise. You know your kids the best. If they are experiencing a lot of feelings of anxiety about current world events, you want to make sure they are not getting exposed to too much information.

If your anxious child is very interested in the news, you could try to seek out good news stories! While it can be harder to look past the negative news headlines, there is a lot of positive news in the world right now!

4. Find the Good

In every situation, it is important to try to find the good. Some kids have a natural tendency to seek out the negative. Not every child sees the good in every situation. Some kids have very low self image. They might engage in a lot of negative self-talk. But, we can to teach our kids on how to focus on the positive.

There are some helpful ways to work on positive self-talk. One simple way is to start a gratitude journal with your kids! You can help your kids start their own journals individually or you could have a gratitude journal as a family.

Another good idea for developing positive self-talk is to read positive affirmations. Even young kids can benefit from daily affirmations. This is a good list of positive affirmations for kids.

Sometimes it can be hard to see any good during a difficult time. Kids might need extra help in finding the positives.

5. Make Family Time a Priority

When anxious children are struggling they need us the most. They might have a different way of telling you that they need you. You might even find that older children are angry or closed off from you. Younger children might act out or throw temper tantrums.

But, the best thing you can do as a parent for your anxious child is to continue to show up for them. If they know that you are there for them no matter what, they will see you as their safe place. We play the most important role in our kids’ lives!

Sometimes anxious kids are so consumed in their own thoughts, they have a hard time relaxing. It is important to provide some fun ways for them to try to relax! Set aside some time each week to have some family fun! Try to make family time a set time in your schedule so that your kids know when they can expect it!

As a family, decide what the fun activity will be. You could play board games, watch a movie or go on an outing. It is nice for your child to get to pick the activity. This helps them to feel in control when in most situations int

You want your kids to have fun, but there might be times that they struggle to get out of their anxious thoughts. As a parent, do not worry if family time is not perfect. Next time or next week it might be better! But, it is important to continue to carve out fun time together as a family.

6. Lead by Example

While we want to protect young people from stress and worry, we can not completely block them from the realities of the world we live in. Life is not always easy and we are all faced with stress and anxiety.

But, we can teach them healthy ways to manage their stress. Hopefully in practicing some good coping strategies ourselves, our kids will learn from our examples!

Are you looking for meaningful activities to do as a family?

Download this list of 50 Family Activities to Do at Home

 

By helping your kids develop healthy coping skills, you are giving them a mental health tool box that they can pull from throughout their lives!

Please note: If you or your kids are struggling with mental health concerns, it is important to get the help you need! Reach out to a professional mental health provider. There are so many benefits to talking with a trained counselor! You do not need to feel alone.

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4 Comments

  1. Holly Breton @ Pink Lady on March 16, 2020 at 7:50 am

    Thank you for sharing Jaclyn- you are spot on as far as the kids picking up on our stress- completely agree with the schedule for structure and also building in some fun- stay healthy XO

  2. Dara on March 16, 2020 at 9:01 am

    My stress is pretty high, though I’m trying to reassure my kids that we’re taking everything one day at a time.

  3. Mina on March 30, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    I absolutely love GoNoodle for when we are stuck inside, even my older kids get into it lol

    • Jaclyn on March 30, 2020 at 4:37 pm

      Ha ha–we all enjoy them here too!

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