Things Every Parent with an Anxious Child Should Try
As all the kids line up to go to school, your son, Timmy, turns to you and says, “I don’t want to take the bus. My stomach hurts. Please don’t make me go.” You cringe and think, Here we go again. What should be a simple morning routine explodes into a daunting challenge.
You look at Timmy and see genuine terror. You want to comfort him. You want to ease the excessive worry that’s become part and parcel of his everyday life. First, you try logic. “Timmy, we walk an extra four blocks to catch this bus because this driver has an accident-free driving record!” He doesn’t budge
Stop Reassuring Your Child
Your child worries. You know there is nothing to worry about, so you say, “Trust me. There’s nothing to worry about.” Done and done, right? We all wish it were that simple. Why does your reassurance fall on deaf ears? It’s actually not the ears causing the issue. Your anxious child desperately wants to listen to you, but the brain won’t let it happen. During periods of anxiety, there is a rapid dump of chemicals and mental transitions executed in your body for survival. One by-product is that the prefrontal cortex — or more logical part of the brain — gets put on hold while the more automated emotional brain takes over. In other words, it is really hard for your child to think clearly, use logic or even remember how to complete basic tasks. What should you do instead of trying to rationalize the worry away?
Try something I call the FEEL method:
Freeze: pause and take some deep breaths with your child. Deep breathing can help reverse the nervous system response.
Empathize: anxiety is scary. Your child wants to know that you get it.
Evaluate: once your child is calm, it’s time to figure out possible solutions.
Let Go: Let go of your guilt; you are an amazing parent giving your child the tools to manage their worry.
Highlight Why Worrying is Good
Remember, anxiety is tough enough without a child believing that Something is wrong with me. Many kids even develop anxiety about having anxiety. Teach your kids that worrying does, in fact, have a purpose.
GIFTS FOR KIDS
Are you celebrating your child’s first double-digit birthday? Rewarding them for straight A’s in school? Simply indulging them with a special treat? No matter what the occasion may be, a personalized gift is a fool-proof way to bring a smile to your child’s face. From sports equipment to bedroom décor, we have presents for kids of all ages. No matter how challenging parenting may be, the good times always outweigh the bad. And seeing your child’s face light up after receiving a gift—that’s absolutely priceless.
Are you wondering what toy is best for a child?
Even if you’re around children a lot, choosing a gift that is both fun and educational can be difficult! Children go through different learning stages as they grow from newborns to adolescents. While these stages are occurring, changes in their brain are also happening.
Age-Appropriate Toys for Children
Choosing a toy will depend on what age and stage the child is in. It’s not necessary to get caught up in gender-specific toys as long as they are colorful and cheerful. Ask yourself if the child will enjoy or if it’s a little to complicated for them to comprehend it.
Toys For Birth to 5 Month Olds
Everything is new for a baby at this stage, so introducing them to soft toys, textures and contrasts will help to stimulate their senses. Toys that improve their hand-eye coordination are key. Exposure to shapes and sizes will help babies differentiate between round and square objects and because they are starting to grasp items, this is the perfect time to introduce them to shapes.
Toys For 6 to 11 month old babies
As mentioned, toys that help with creativity, visual stimulation and constructive skills are best for a baby at this stage. Below are some toys that allow them to explore as well as improve their sensory and cognitive skills as well as language development.
A career in paediatrics offers opportunities in research, public health and volunteering overseas – and a chance to make a real difference to the lives of children and young people. If you’re a medical student or foundation doctor, or are considering changing your path, find out more about this varied, dynamic specialty.
So, why choose paediatrics?
Three young people asked a group of paediatricians just what got them into this specialty… What are the important qualities they need? What is great about the profession? How are they fun and effective?
Meet your local student society
If you’re at medical school, why not join your paediatric society, a friendly group of fellow students interested in the specialty!
Has it all been easy? No. But it brings me joy
We asked eight paediatricians to share their motivations for choosing paediatrics and what being a paediatrician means to them.
How to talk to your children about protests and racism
As cities and social media explode with anger over the killing of yet another black man at the hands of police, worried parents struggle with how to protect their children from seeing the worst of the violence while simultaneously explaining the ravages of racism.
Sheltering at home for months to avoid the deadly coronavirus, many parents stressed by juggling work and child care from home had eased their restrictions on screen time for their children.
Even if they haven’t, experts say parents should assume their children are already aware of tragedies like these and their aftermath.
“Whether from social media accounts, conversations with peers or caregivers, overheard conversations, or the distress they witness in the faces of those they love, children know what is going on,” Boyd said. “And without the guidance and validation of their caregivers, they may be navigating their feelings alone.”
Take care of you first
How can a parent help their child traverse these disturbing times? Let the child’s age and level of development guide you, experts say, but first, be sure that you are in the right frame of mind.
Sleep hygiene in children and young people
Children of different ages require different amounts of sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) produced a ’Consensus Statement‘ in 2016 regarding recommended amount of sleep for children and young people. The table below gives an indication of the amount of sleep your child needs on a regular basis to keep them healthy.
Good sleep hygiene begins in the day, with the consideration of your child’s food and drink intake. Caffeine is a stimulant that prevents sleep, and can cause your child to stay awake for longer and to settle to sleep less easily. Caffeine is present in drinks such as tea, coffee, cola, energy drinks and fizzy pop. If your child drinks these, try to limit their intake and avoid them altogether after lunchtime.
Eating a large meal before bedtime can prevent sleep. Consider the best time to eat your dinner meal – if your child has an early bedtime, ensure that a large meal is not being eaten directly beforehand. On school nights, it might be preferable for your child to eat earlier but you can still all have family meals at weekends and during holiday periods. However, some foods can be helpful in helping your child settle to sleep – for example, a drink of warm milk.
Children may have difficulty in falling asleep if they have been inactive throughout the day. Encouraging your child, where possible, to undertake sports and to play outside can help to burn off energy and enable your child to feel tired at the end of the day. Even if your child is not very ‘sporty’, just going for a walk in the fresh air can be helpful. However, exercise should be avoided directly before bedtime, as the heat created by the muscles by exercise can prevent your child falling asleep.
Your child’s sleeping environment should be a place where they feel safe and secure, but should also be a place to sleep and not play. There are several ways in which the sleeping environment can be adjusted, but it will depend on the needs of your child (and any other children sharing the room).