Parenting kids with overt and covert anxiety using Parental Intelligence will ease their minds.Kids show their anxiety in overt and covert ways. For some it is obvious. They are nervous, panicky, fearful, obsessive, phobic, and socially awkward. But others show anxiety indirectly masked behind unusual irritability, frustration, annoyance, and even anger that seems out of control. The latter are kids who have trouble verbalizing their anxiety and they can be harder to reach.
Helping the Overt Anxious Child with Parental Intelligence
If your child or teen is clearly anxious to the point of telling you about it, then it’s easier to help soothe them, Using the five steps of Parental Intelligence, you can reach them easily finding out the problems and solving them to a great extent. Here are the five steps:
- Stepping Back: When you notice your child or teen is anxious don’t rush in to solve their problems. Step back and think about whether there is a pattern of triggers that you have observed. Give them a chance to collect themselves on their own.
2, Self-Reflecting: Counsel yourself on how you feel as you react to your child’s anxiety. If you are anxious consider how to relieve yourself first before engaging your child or your anxiety will only increase that of the child. Perhaps what makes your child anxious, such as social anxiety, also makes anxious. So consider how to settle yourself down first.
- Understanding Your Child’s Mind: This is the crux of Parental Intelligence. You want to ascertain what the child is thinking about that is making them feel anxious. Nonjudgmentally and with no sense of blame, inquire what is making your child uneasy. Listen carefully without interrupting or giving your point of view. Let the child fully express their worries and how they are manifested such as by being phobic, panicky, or generally unsettled. When they tell you the circumstances, be empathetic and attempt to soothe them by being very attentive. Your understanding will ease their anxiety by itself to begin with before taking additional steps.
- Understanding Your Child’s Development: Consider your child’s stage of development. If for example, they are entering puberty they may be anxious about their changing appearance or voice level. They may worry that others won’t accept how tall they’ve grown or how shapely they appear. Normalize these changes by explaining how all kids go through this and they will understand each other as they develop. Use empathy to try and be in your child’s shoes as they are changing.
- Problem Solving: Once you know what is on your child’s mind that is making them anxious, you can collaborate with them to solve the problems. Let them feel and know you are on their side. They need to feel they are not alone with their anxiety. Gently give social advice if it’s needed. Have a consultation with a therapist if your child is experiencing panic attacks or obsessive thinking or developing a phobia. Your child will feel your sympathy and understanding by reaching out to others for support with them. Your child will experience your attentive care which is shared as your child finds their way out of their tensions.
Helping the Covert Anxious Child with Parental Intelligence
When a young child or teen is unable to articulate their anxiety, it manifests in different ways that it’s imperative for the parent to discover. Again, using Parental Intelligence is an approach to guide your youngster and solve their distress.
- Stepping Back: Notice without saying anything how unusually your child is behaving. Perhaps they are moody, irritable, frustrated, withdrawn. Be keenly observant when this occurs as a clue to what may be making them anxious.
- Self-Reflecting: Monitor your own reactions to their covert ways of showing they are anxious. If indeed they are making you anxious, use your own feelings to understand theirs. Often when kids are irritable, they make us tense which is a clue to the tension they are experiencing. After you calm yourself down, you will notice you feel more in tune with them even though they have not yet explained their distress.
- Understanding Your Child’s Mind: If your child is not being verbal about their anxiety then share your observations. “I notice you seem irritable today; what’s going on? Do you know? Can I help?” Reaching out in this way will help settle your child’s uneasiness because they know you know something is up that’s hard to articulate. If you come across as non-blaming and non-judgmental it will be easier for your child or teen to open up to themselves and to you about the tension they are harboring. Ask open ended questions that help them explore more fully what is wrong such as: “Tell me what’s on your mind.” “Can you tell me more about it?” “You seem unsettled, what might be the cause?” Once your child slowly begins to verbalize their anxiety, you can tell them the word “anxiety” to help them further understand what they are going through. If they are panicky, breathing quickly in short shallow breaths, trembling, or feeling disoriented, explain this is a panic attack or anxiety attack that will slowly dissipate. These words counter feels of ‘going crazy’ rather quickly and they know you are on their side. If you notice compulsions such as hand washing or difficulty eating simply notice these activities without judging, suggesting they may be anxious. and you want to help. Eventually, your child will begin to verbalize what is disturbing them.
- Understanding Your Child’s Development: Be aware of shifts in developmental stages that may be making your child tense. Transitions to new schools, puberty, changes in residence, shifts in friendships all may be occurring sometimes at once. Empathize with your child as she experiences these changes. Share that time helps to ease transitions and that they should not expect to relax all at once or in a hurry. Let them know they can take their time to make adjustments.
- Problem Solving: Now that you have gathered much more information about what is making your child anxious, link together for them their irritation or frustration with anxiety. Explain that sometimes moodiness is the result of anxiety. This understanding will ease their minds. Then explore together how to solve any underlying problems that have triggered the anxiety. Let them know you are on their side for as long as they need. and you’ll work things out together.
In these ways, the Parental Intelligence Way, helps you build your relationship with your anxious child, helps them articulate their distress as you monitor their changes, and eventually together you discover ways to ease their anxiety. Don’t hesitate to intervene early on before the anxiety escalates. Also, seek professional guidance if you feel the anxiety is persisting beyond a few weeks. Your child will be appreciative of your care, efforts, and understanding