Health Tip – Five ways to help children cope with anxiety

Shannon Welch-Grove, Psy.D.

Shannon Welch-Grove, Psy.D.

By Shannon Welch-Groves, Psy.D., licensed psychologist at the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center

(September 2016) It’s back to school time and for some children that means increased anxiety. Academics, sports, family circumstances and social events create pressures that may feel overwhelming for children of all ages. As a parent you can’t protect your child from all worries but you can help them develop skills to cope.

There are many ways including the following:

1.  Listen to your child. Taking the time to listen to your child calmly and genuinely without judgment can be empowering and helpful for children coping with stress.

2.  Model healthy coping skills such as exercise, deep breathing, yoga or just slowing down from a busy schedule.

3.  Help children name their feelings. When children have the words to express their feelings many times they will not need to act out in an unhealthy way.

4. Strive for good sleep schedules and healthy eating habits.

5. Limit media and video game time. Be cautious of too many after school activities to allow children enough time for play and school work.

The Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center provides quality mental health counseling and education for children, adolescents, adults, couples and families through 28 licensed clinicians. The Center has developed a unique approach to treating children and adolescents that integrates art, play, food, and physical movement with counseling. We call our practice C.O.O.L. which is short for “Children Overcoming the Obstacles of Life.” For more information:
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