We think they should have nothing to worry about since, let’s face it, they don’t have bills to pay, or traffic to fight. In reality, kids worry about a lot of things. Some are under their control — like getting good grades; and some things are not — like their parents’ divorce. Excessive worry can even grow into a debilitating ailment like generalized anxiety disorder. Here are a few tips to help your child keep worry under control:
Help him figure out what’s bothering him. The first step in tackling a problem is defining it. Perhaps he’s worried a history teacher doesn’t like him, but what’s actually eating at him is a fear of doing poorly on a test. You can help make a plan to tackle the problem, with suggestions on study habits, or simply helping him put good grades in perspective.
Urge her to write it down — the problem and potential solutions. Sometimes seeing a problem in black and white can diffuse it; maybe even bring clarity and a solution. If your daughter is worried over a fight with a friend, encourage her to write down different ways she could remedy the situation. Brainstorming solutions with an objective party is a time-tested problem-solver.
Advise your child to seek help when he’s worried. Whether it’s a parent, older sibling, trusted adult, or school counselor, sharing your feelings can help, even if the solution is not within her control. Often, simply telling someone your worries has a way of easing anxiety.
By Deanna Franklin Campbell