Often parents find it to be rather difficult to find the reasons as to why their child is anxious or stressed out. Even once you figure that out, another challenge a parent faces is how to calm the child and make his/her worries go away. No matter how big or small the worry is, as a parent, you would definitely give it importance. Every child is unique and reacts differently towards any major or minor stressors. While you try to work your way through their worries, you must be aware of the things that you must not say to your anxious child.
5 Things an Anxious Child Does Not Want to Hear From You:
“There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
Parents often say this phrase to only reassure and calm their anxious child down. But the child’s body is already releasing cortisol, adrenaline, and norepinephrine, which are the stress hormones that make his mind and body lose control, making him unable to understand what you are saying. Instead, the child feels that even though there is nothing to worry about but he is still worried so there must be wrong with him.
“Look at your siblings”
This statement is very negative for your child since he is being compared to his siblings who are also his non-fearful peers. Not only does this phrase makes your child feel more fearful, but it also makes him feel and rather believe that his siblings are better than him. This feeling may lead to mental illness and complexes in the future. The child would begin to hate himself for being the way he is and would wish to be someone else instead to be liked by their parents.
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“Just Calm Down Already.”
Asking a child to calm down is just going to make him more anxious. The child does not enjoy being anxious and mentally ill that way. Just the way you would not ask an epileptic patient or a person with a broken leg to stop having seizures or to begin walking respectively, you must not ask your child to simply calm down. People need to understand that internal disorders such as anxiety or panic attacks are as serious as any other illness. The child feels that the parent is disinterested in his problems.
“Why did you do this again?”
This tone may make your child feel afraid of you and rather condemned. It may make him feel that you have been recording and remembering all his actions and would never forgive his past mistakes. Care must be taken that you have a polite tone while correcting the faults of your child and you must help them own their mistakes and correct them.
“There you go again…”
This statement has a rather accusatory tone to it. The child feels blamed for feeling anxious and stressed. In fact, he feels as if his anxiety is somehow bothering or distressing his parents and that he is the reason for ruining his parents’ day.
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From the facts highlighted above, it must be remembered that for children with anxiety, the best way to make him/her feel comfortable is to express your affection, compassion, and gentleness towards them. The anxiety would decrease once he feels safe and cared for. If you think you need guidance with your child, then you can find the best child specialist in Lahore or any other main city from where you belong through Marham. A wise man once said, “People may forget what you say or do, but they will never forget how you make them feel.”
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