We all appreciate having a routine, but for many children, it can be an essential part of their well-being and sense of security. And with the current change to full-time at-home living, this “new normal” can feel quite disruptive for youngsters. Thankfully, there are lots of ways we can offer dedicated comfort and support to our children—particularly for those feeling anxious during this time.
May 18, 2020
7 Ways to Nurture & Support Children Who Are Feeling Anxious
1. Moments of Reflection
When worried thoughts start to take over, stopping to fully embrace what’s in front of you can be a useful way to come back to the present moment. Thankfully, children are especially good at noticing the little things. And by asking them to really observe something—perhaps all the toys in their room or what they can see out the window—in every detail, you can help bring their attention back to the here and now.
Experience the beauty of observation with Tiny, Perfect Things.
2. Space for Self-Expression
Self-esteem and solid communication skills are the building blocks of healthy self-expression. Asking your child questions, and encouraging them to do the same, is a great way to help them explore their own thoughts and emotions. You can also focus on activities that build their self-confidence and independent thinking, such as choosing their clothing for the day, deciding which family game to play, or perhaps picking a new topic they’d like to learn more about. (For younger children, pare down options in advance so they aren’t overwhelmed.)
Give them language to express all their feelings with Tiger Days.
3. A Sense of Security
Feeling safe, wanted, and loved are core needs for children. By reminding them how important they are (to you and to your family), you can help ease concerns about what is happening now and what may happen in the future. Through your words and actions, you will let your children know that, no matter what, they are cherished beyond measure.
Bring a comfort to bedtime with You Belong Here.
4. Tools for Resilience
As much as we may want to, we cannot fully shield our children from hurt and challenges. Foster resilience by identifying problems together, along with several possible solutions. For example, if your child is missing a grandparent, explore with them different options they may have: perhaps a daily lunchtime phone call would be helpful, or framing a photo for a nightstand would offer some comfort. Let them know they have your unconditional support, whatever the concern may be, so they can feel safe reaching out to you when they need guidance.
Remind them to see the possibilities, even during hard times, with What Do You Do With a Problem?
5. A Place to Play
Offering children opportunities to express themselves creatively is a great way to give a sense of freedom while also increasing their emotional language skills. Plus, it’s just fun! Ask your kids to imagine what would be found if they discovered a brand-new planet, or perhaps encourage them to write a magical story for a younger sibling. Or pick three household items and ask them to invent a way to use them all together. Give them free rein and see what surprises they create!
Tap into their imagination with Superpowers! and I Like... activity books.
6. Time for Love & Laughter
Simple laughter can sometimes offer the best relief. Read jokes to each other while getting ready in the morning, watch cute animal videos online together, or play a favorite song and dance exuberantly around the living room. Don’t be afraid to get a little goofy! Each humorous experience will bring even more happiness into your home.
Inspire smiles with the Tickle Monster Laughter Kit.
7. Affection Every Day
Let’s not forget the power of a meaningful hug. A simple embrace can be incredible for letting children (and even ourselves) feel calmed and reassured. Give them a big hug for every chore completed, or add a morning snuggle to the start of each day—and celebrate the joy of being together.
Explore all the ways to share your love with So Many Cuddles.
As we find ourselves bending to a new way of living, children and adults alike, we can also take this moment to look for the hidden gifts. From deepening our relationships with each other to adding meaning and hope to each day, in this moment, we can offer our children so much. We can offer them strength, learning, and love. We can offer them lessons that will last a lifetime.