6 Basic Things Parents can do to Avoid passing Anxiety to Children
- Jan 14, 2016
Image by: Leonid Mamchenkovhttps://www.flickr.com/photos/mamchenkov/
Okay. We know. All of us have our “We are so terribly anxious” moments. Workload. Finances. Health. Time. Even the weather. Or the noise that is disturbing our official Email.
A new school for our child, perhaps? Or an upcoming exam? Our child’s report card that we think could or should have been better? Our child’s future? The reasons could be endless.
Not a single reason why our anxiety should be passed on to our innocent children.
Firstly, we have to keep in mind that anxiety is not a solution.
The best thing to do is to avoid anxiety, altogether. Difficult, but not impossible. Let us see how we can do this:
- We can close all routes of anxiety to us. At least, try to. For example, if we stay on the correct path, we have very little to worry about. If we take good care of our principles, rules, regulations and laws; work well; live correct and safe, we would hardly have anything to get worried or anxious about.
- Meditation or Yoga can help us attain peace and stay away from anxiety. As a bonus, we also gain good health.
- The moment we detect or suspect any error anywhere, instead of getting anxious and showing it, we can act towards its rectification.
All these steps from Anxiety are positive; and good examples for our children.
If we cannot avoid anxiety, we shall have to face it. But face it calmly. And wisely.
- No matter what the cause or magnitude of our anxiety, we should NEVER EVER lose control over our composure, in the presence of children.
- If there is a child present and the situation is full of anxiety, we can gently ask the child to go out and play if the area is safe and known to the child, as one’s own garden or compound; or have some trusted, responsible adult take the child out for a drive, walk or treat. We must ensure that the anxiety, or even a hint of it, does not reach the child.
- In case of unfortunate events such as illnesses, accidents or deaths, one has to explain the matter to the child as simply and as honestly as possible; keeping the age of the child, and other relevant factors in mind. That way, the child will not feel excessively worried, wondering what is going on that is being hidden from his/her knowledge.
- There are certain unavoidable situations where a person close to or near us expresses unbridled anxiety before children. If we cannot control the person or situation right then and there, we need to make it a point to take the children away from there as soon as possible, calm them down, and explain, gently, that what just happened was not something to be desired, or repeated.They need to be told that though they might have to encounter such scenes once in a while, they should never be afraid of or affected by them, or perform the same actions themselves. Because there are better ways of handling such situations.
Keep Anxiety Causing Topics Away
We need not discuss our office worries or financial problems in front of our children. Neither need we let them know how much is being spent on their education, etc. They have not chosen our professions, lifestyle, bank balance, or even their education for us; they need not worry about these matters, either.
In the unfortunate event of our children becoming a part of our anxious discussions or decisions, we need to reassure them that we are always there to take care of them, no matter what. They need not worry.
Never express Anxiety before Children
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No matter what the magnitude of our anxiety, we should always avoid expressing it before children.
- We should avoid ‘confiding’ in children or ‘discussing’ our anxiety with them. We do not want to worry them with topics and tension they are too young for; right?
- We should refrain from raising our voices or having heated arguments with children around – or even otherwise. Raising voices cannot be a solution; raising our levels of thoughts and actions, can.
- We should never say, “We are worried. Go away!” to children. These very words and our way of conveying them would make children worry about what we are worried about. Instead, we can try saying, “Could we speak to you a little later, please? We have this little job to finish, first. Why don’t you do something interesting, till we join you? You can tell us about it, once we come to you.” Sweeter. Simpler. Safer.
Make Home a No Anxiety Zone
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The home has to be kept happy and smiling. Ideally, that should be the case always. Just in case there is some worry to be handled, it is best done outside.
- Office problems not to be brought and discussed at home. In any case, never ever before children.
- Ditto with financial problems. Children need not hear or overhear them.
- In case a major issue needs to be discussed, parents can leave the children in the trusted care of an adult, and discuss the matter at a place away from home.
Assure the Children Security
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Children need to know that they are loved, cared for, safe and protected. Always and under all circumstances. It is the moral duty and responsibility of parents to ensure that their children are never insecure or worried about anything. Once we attain this goal, there could be no anxiety reaching our children.
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