The world is a scary place. The news is full of bad things happening to good people, and it seems like with each passing day there’s something new to worry about. Worse still, if we’re not careful, it can seem almost impossible to escape from the doom spiral of anxiety that threatens us all.
This is especially true for children who are learning how to live in the world for the first time. That’s why it’s important for parents and caregivers to find ways of reassuring their kids—to help them understand that anxiety does affect everyone at times, and that even if we can’t change how anxious we feel sometimes, we can learn healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with the feelings.
Here are nine comforting things you can say to your child when they’re feeling unusually anxious:
Sometimes, reassurance is best expressed when you let your child know they are not alone. Anxiety affects so many people in different ways, but it doesn’t mean a person has a mental illness or is “weird.” Many children feel this way, and there are lots of things you can say to help them accept that their anxiety is normal.
Your reassurances might include:
In short, the best way to approach an anxious child is with reassurance and respect. By validating their feelings and letting them know they are not alone, you can help them feel understood and safe. Remember that it is okay for your child to be nervous sometimes, even if you feel more calm about a situation. At the same time, make sure your child knows how much you love them and how proud you are of their efforts. With patience and understanding from you, they will learn how to cope with anxiety in a healthy way as they grow up.