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5 Tips for Easing Anxiety in Kids

November 18th, 2016     By Pat Thomas, Boys Town

Anxiety, Parent-Child Relationships, Parenting Skills

This article was originally featured on Momaha on Nov 17, 2016.

These days, there are a lot of kids dealing with feelings of worry and anxiety.

Often, these feelings are the result of struggling with things they don’t understand, or there is a break in the routine, and they are not sure of what is going to happen and when.

Studies show that children feel safe when they are in a consistent and predictable environment. Safety is their main concern and ours.

Kids are exposed to things they don’t understand on a regular basis.

They overhear adult conversations. They watch the local or national news. They are exposed through the lyrics of the music they listen to or when something pops up on the computer when they are playing games.

Their minds and emotions are not ready to process the information so they think about it frequently, and they worry about it.

Here are some tips for helping your kids with anxiety:

Be vigilant about limiting screen time. This will minimize the flood of messages your child receives daily. Sometimes it’s helpful to avoid watching the news or checking social media for a week or two.

Try to look at your family’s schedule for the week and review it on Sunday night. When changes occur, make sure everyone is informed and plans are in place ahead of time. Remember, kids respond well to routine. If there is a change for the week, notify them ahead of time.

Keep them busy. Include them in activities in the home and family and make sure they are interacting with others.

Make sure they are getting enough sleep. Worry can interfere with sleep which contributes to more worry. Try our sleep guide if you need some help with this.

Make sure your family is eating a healthy diet without excess stimulants such as sugar and caffeine.

If you notice changes in your child’s behaviors, such as they are more irritable, unable to relax, cry easily or have tummy aches, check to see what is going on.

If your teens withdraw more and won’t engage in conversation and have more aches and pains than usual, check to see what is going on.

And remember you can always call the Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000 if you have any additional concerns.

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