Family, Parents, Self care, Informal mindfulness 2 minute read

3 steps to support your child through worries

Children excel when they have caring, trustworthy, and supportive relationships with others in their lives. You as their parent, carer, or teacher have a vital role to play. 

With children across the country finally back in the classroom, and the holiday season right around the corner, the pace of life out of lockdown combined with the overwhelming feelings of anticipation, excitement, and uncertainty, can lead to increased feelings of worry. They say it takes a village to raise a child – a village of parents, carers, and teachers, who all hold the responsibility to support the children in their lives through this challenging time. 


Children excel when they have caring, trustworthy, and supportive relationships with others in their lives. You as their parent, carer, or teacher have a vital role to play. Supporting and looking after your child’s worries and stress can be tricky at times, so we have come up with a simple three-step process to help guide you. 

image-from-rawpixel-id-52124-jpeg


Step 1. Help your child identify and name their feelings 


Often, our worries stem from unhelpful, intrusive thoughts. As adults, we can try to rationalise these unhelpful thoughts, by recognising that there is little point in worrying about something that may never happen. However, this concept can be difficult for children to grasp, especially when the unhelpful thought or feeling is at the forefront of their minds. 

 

image-from-rawpixel-id-11470-jpeg


Firstly, ask your child how they are feeling. Helping your child to recognise and label what they are feeling is an intervention in itself and can support their regulation. It is important to recognise that feeling scared or anxious at a time like this is normal and okay, as it is an appropriate response to the uncertainty of our current world. A certain level of worry during a global pandemic is appropriate and can help to keep you and your child more safe and healthy. 

Feelings of anxiety in children are a normal part of development. However, there is a tipping point where feelings of anxiety and worry can begin to have a negative effect on your child’s mental health and wellbeing. This leads to step two...


Step 2: Once you have identified your child's feelings, talk about them and support them to find ways to help handle what is worrying them.


For many children, worry manifests in their bodies, rather than their words. For example, a tummy ache may be an indicator that they are worried about something. Lack of, or interrupted sleep, is also a common sign that your child may be experiencing some level of worry or stress. It is important to not only identify the signs of worry but to talk about the feelings your child is experiencing, by helping them to label their feelings.

image-from-rawpixel-id-45355-jpeg (1)

Take some time to really listen, validate and allow your child to express what they are feeling. By having calm, open, and matter-of-fact conversations with your child about how they are feeling, and why they are feeling worried or stressed, you can actively move away from feelings of worry and towards a feeling of calm.

Encouraging your child to talk about their worries with a trusted adult, can help them to let the worries go, simply by knowing an adult is there to offer reassurance and support.

Talk with your child about new ways of seeing and managing what they are worried about, brainstorm ideas, and encourage them to find what will support them.


Step 3: Practise mindfulness.  

Dulux_SmilingMinds_2136 LR-1

 

Mindfulness can help children regularly tune in and become aware of how thoughts and emotions make them feel. Mindfulness helps us to focus our energy on the present moment – not the past, and especially not the future. By encouraging your child to listen to mindfulness meditation for just a few minutes each day, they will learn how to notice where their attention and energy is being spent, and how to redirect it to a better place. The Smiling Mind App is a great place to start – it has a variety of different mindfulness meditations, tailored specifically to your child’s age. 


For more resources to support your child through uncertainty and worry, check out our Care Packs for Families, containing digital tools created by Smiling Mind’s psychologists.
 

Download our Care Packs

 
Smiling Mind

Written by Smiling Mind

Latest

How to Master Your Workday in 2022

Learn how to maximise your time off, to master your workday.  After two years of working from home, the office, or both,...

Workplace, Tips & Tricks, Self care 3 minute read

The Great Retention

As we slowly come out of the depths of the pandemic, around the world, companies are reporting unprecedented rates of re...

Workplace, Mental Health, Meditation, Self care, Informal mindfulness, Retention 3 minute read

5 minutes with illustrator, Emma Leonard

Emma Leonard is a multi-disciplinary Australian artist and illustrator specialising in Fashion and Beauty. Inspired by n...

Self care, Informal mindfulness 4 minute read

Navigating news coverage with your family in 2022

With images of long testing queues, exhausted healthcare workers, packed hospitals and rapidly increasing infection char...

Children, Parents, Mental Health, Self care, Informal mindfulness, COVID19 3 minute read
Quote of the week
“You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.”
Pema Chödrön

At home

Navigating news coverage with your family in 2022

With images of long testing queues, exhausted healthcare workers, packed hospitals and rapidly increasing infection char...

Children, Parents, Mental Health, Self care, Informal mindfulness, COVID19 3 minute read

Wrapping the year that's been with your child

Practising gratitude with your children is an excellent way to bring their focus back to positive moments. 

Children, Family, Informal mindfulness 3 minute read

5 top tips to support your child's mental health

The Smiling Mind State of Mind report found that 41% of parents reported the pandemic has had a negative impact on the m...

Children, Family, Parents, Informal mindfulness 6 minute read

At Work

How to Master Your Workday in 2022

Learn how to maximise your time off, to master your workday.  After two years of working from home, the office, or both,...

Workplace, Tips & Tricks, Self care 3 minute read

The Great Retention

As we slowly come out of the depths of the pandemic, around the world, companies are reporting unprecedented rates of re...

Workplace, Mental Health, Meditation, Self care, Informal mindfulness, Retention 3 minute read

Switching off and reflecting on the year that’s been.

This week marks the end of the working year for many of us, as we finally slide into the summer holidays and begin to ta...

Workplace, Mental Health, Meditation, Self care, Informal mindfulness 3 minute read

At school

5 Steps To A Better Night’s Sleep

It’s no secret getting a good night’s sleep works wonders for your mental and physical health – but for some, getting a ...

Family, Students, Schools, Mental Health, Meditation, Informal mindfulness 5 minute read

3 Ways to Support Your Kids As They Return To The Classroom

After months of lockdown and homeschooling for the country’s two most populated cities, the time has finally come for ki...

Family, Students, Schools, Informal mindfulness 3 minute read

5 minutes with Principal, Tip Kennedy.

Meet Tip Kennedy. Tip is a principal at Richmond West, an inner Melbourne primary school that recently received its very...

Teachers, Schools 3 minute read

News

How Smiling Mind put preventative Mental Health care on the map

There is perhaps no greater challenge than to start something out of nothing.  Ten years ago, this is exactly the challe...

Mental Health, COVID19, Media release 2 minute read

Partnership Announcement - Kmart

We are excited today to announce a new partnership between Smiling Mind and Kmart. Built on a shared vision of a happier...

Mental Health, Media release 1 minute read

Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System is a game changer for mental health prevention

Smiling Mind has supported findings released today from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System, speci...

Media release 2 minute read
Recent initiatives
Screen Shot 2020-11-16 at 3.30.05 pm

NAIDOC Week with Jack Charles