Helping Children with Anxiety in Becoming Assertive

Though everyone of us may have experienced some anxious moments in our lives, in the case of children, anxiety can hamper their development. In general, children with anxiety may not be assertive. Parents and teachers play vital roles in developing assertiveness in these children.

Children should learn to manage their feelings caused by their fears. Only then, they will be able to overcome their anxieties. Once they overcome their fears, they may gain in confidence and may become assertive.

How should parents help children with anxiety to become assertive?

Bullying by other children is one of the reasons that may be causing anxiety in your child. Nowadays, we hear a lot of youth suicides due to such bullying. Even adults who have the anxiety problem admit that they faced bullying during their school days.

There are two possibilities that may cause this problem. The first one is that children become anxious if they are bullied. The next is that children with anxiety are more easily picked up by other children for bullying. Whatever may be the case, if children face the traumatic experience of being bullied, they become anxious. For treating these children with anxiety, parents should seek professional help because these children should overcome their negative feelings and forget the experience.

Parents’ role

Keep a close watch and understand your child’s needs or fears

Parents should keep a watch and should learn to understand their children’s needs or fears. This is for modifying their teaching strategies. This is also for learning new and appropriate disciplining skills. If there are symptoms like prolonged temper tantrums, extraordinary and intense stubbornness, physical pains without any medical reasons, meltdowns without any major contributing factors, repetitive behaviors such as nail-biting, hair-pulling and skin picking that are more physical and body-focused, difficulties in eating as well as sleeping parents should immediately understand that their children are facing the problem of anxiety.

Adjusting parenting skills

Each child is different and their personality, disposition will vastly differ also. So, every child has to be handled differently. Parents cannot adopt uniform methods for treating and handling all the children.

Improve your child’s emotional intelligence

Children can handle stressful situations only if they understand the emotions they feel. They should also be educated to understand others’ emotions also for which parents should help. Children always take their parents as their role models and so, parents should set an example by empathizing with others. If children learn to empathize with others, it may bring a remarkable change in their behaviors.

Parents should also teach them how to communicate. Children emulate their parents even in this aspect. Children should be taught that it is not a mistake to be afraid and to feel sad or mad. If children learn to recognize their feelings and thoughts and express them cogently, parents will not find it difficult to handle them. So, parents should teach their kids to verbalize and express their feelings and thoughts.

It is not necessary to teach them how they should feel

Instead of trying to teach them how they should feel, parents should tell them how they feel and ask the children to express and explain their feelings. If genuine and leading questions are asked, children will be able to learn to recognize and express their feelings.

Build confidence in them

Children should be made to know their strengths and weaknesses. They should also know that it is not uncommon to have weaknesses. The aim should be to make them realize that they can learn from the mistakes they commit. They should know that their parents love them unconditionally whatever may be their behaviors, shortcomings and accomplishments. Parents should know that there is no point in treating these children harshly. Parents should not feel guilty and sad also about their children. Instead of pushing the children, they should aim to help the children have confidence in themselves.

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