Being a child doesn’t always equate to living life stress-free, happy, and carefree. Even if they don’t worry about having to pay bills, young kids also have their fair share of worries and stress. This is where emotional support comes in.
Coping with negative and difficult emotions such as anxiety, loneliness, and fear can be challenging for children. In fact, it is harder for them than it is for adults. As a parent, you have an important role to play in helping your little one manage distress. If they are currently troubled and battling negative emotions, be sure to give them the emotional support they need.
Here are some tips to help you through.
Make your home a calm and secure place
If there’s one place that makes every child feel safe and secure, it should be their home. Your home is what your child considers as their refuge from the outside world. Make your home a safe haven where they feel loved, supported, and acknowledged.
Because children find comfort in predictability and consistency, it would be a great idea to establish daily and weekly routines at home. Make a daily schedule for your child to stick to. The schedule should include the activities from waking up in the morning to bedtime at night. Don’t forget to include playtime as well as family activities. This may be easier said than done when you have a busy lifestyle but this is something that shouldn’t be overlooked and ignored.
Talk to your child
Talking to your child about the things they are going through emotionally is one big step to helping them cope with it. It makes them feel heard, valued and understood. When talking to them, make sure you do less of the talking and more of the listening. Give assuring responses when needed.
However, if your child is not one who is likely to talk or share their feelings, don’t force it. Do it gradually but make them feel that you’re interested in hearing about what’s going on. Once they start becoming comfortable in expressing themselves, keep yourself from jumping into the problem-solving phase immediately or giving advice. Just listen and let them talk. Only respond to confirm understanding.
Encourage expression of thoughts and feelings
Children have various ways of expressing and channeling negative feelings. Sometimes, they express it by exhibiting bad behaviors. This is where a parent’s emotional support is most needed. And the best way to do it is to help them identify their feelings and simply listen. Non-verbal communication in the form of hugs and cuddles is also encouraged.
Maintain your connection
Sometimes, the only thing our children need to feel to be okay is to know that you are there for them. No matter how busy you are, be sure to maintain a strong connection with your child. Spend quality time together. Carve out time for parent-child bonding on a regular basis. Make it a habit to check on how they’re doing every single day, eat meals together, catch up, and have conversations to stay connected.
Watch out for their moods
If there’s anyone who knows their child best, it’s the parent. Therefore, you should be able to tell if your child is experiencing anxiety or stress. If there’s something going on or there are changes in their behavior, you should be able to tell that, too. Be wary if they start showing signs such as difficulty sleeping, loss of appetite, and irritability, among others.
Be a role model
Your actions are more effective teachers than your words. Be sure you’re setting the right example for your child to follow. From your language, facial expressions, reactions, and body language, make sure that you model the right behaviors that children can emulate. It’s also a good idea to show how you handle stress in healthy ways. Adopt healthy habits to manage your own anxiety and stress.
It shouldn’t be surprising that children also have their own worries, stress, and anxieties. Parents can’t stop these from affecting their children but what they can do is to provide the emotional support their kids need to cope with the distress.
For more helpful tips on parenting or if you’re looking for the best preschool for your little one, please visit Akers Academy.