My son had a classroom teacher in elementary school with a reputation for yelling. By the second week of school, she’d lived up to the rumors and my son often came home a worried mess. Though my son was not the recipient of the teacher’s ire, she yelled at his friends, and this was enough to make him dread going to school. Every. Single. Day.
I thought my son might be exaggerating. But when a friend who substituted in the school confirmed midyear that she could hear this teacher yelling all the way down the hall, I really should have spoken up. It was a tough school year for both of us. Thankfully, my son had a great teacher the following year and his worries about school diminished. But I wish I’d done better for him. I’m learning how to help my child stop worrying and these 5 ideas could help ease your child’s worries too, whatever they may be.

1. Find out what’s going on in the classroom and talk to the teacher.
You are your child’s advocate and if she’s exhibiting more stress than usual, find out what’s causing it. Talking to the teacher can be the first step. Volunteering in the classroom or at school may also give you key insights into what’s happening.

2. Find time to talk to your child, heart to heart.
I love bedtime conversations with my kids, but that’s not when you want the worries to come out. They’ll just keep your kid awake. Set aside time when your worrier is rested and satiated—maybe 10 minutes together on the couch after dinner—when you and he can focus on him and what’s happening in his life.

3. Help your child develop a passion.
Too much free time can feed worries and make them worse because she’s got all this time to ruminate. Does she like to read? Ensure there are lots of books around. Does she like building things? Give her a place to work that won’t bother you if it creates a mess. Crafts, painting, LEGOs, bug collecting—find something your child gets passionate about and feed that hobby. It’ll help with confidence and self-esteem, two traits that will combat the self-doubt that comes with worries. {Tweet this “Find something your child…with worries.”}

Find something your child gets passionate about and feed that hobby. It’ll help with confidence and self-esteem, two traits that will combat the self-doubt that comes with worries.

4. Encourage time spent with other loving adults.
Hearing family stories, laughing at Grandpa’s jokes, and getting hugs from people other than Mom and Dad have been a blessing to my children. When they open up about worries to Nana, they’re given a different perspective and sounding board. I can also say later on, “Remember what Nana said about joining the soccer team? Everyone is new and it’s OK if you’re not very good yet.” Grandparents, aunts, uncles, coaches, friends—anyone you trust who cares for your child counts.

5. Talk to a professional.
Having someone in your child’s life who is trained to help in this department might be a welcome relief. Once trust is established, he may enjoy unburdening himself to someone who offers useful and practical advice, but who is also detached enough so as not to get emotionally distracted by the problem. Also, a licensed therapist can help you learn how to handle your child’s worries better. There’s no shame in asking for help! Think about it this way: You’re finding one more person in your child’s corner who’s there for him, cares about him, and will do what it takes to help him. There’s nothing wrong with that.
Learning how to help my child stop worrying can be a process. What strategies have worked with your child?

ASK YOUR CHILD…
What are two things you are grateful for today?

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Cap ASK YOUR CHILD... What are two things you are grateful for today?

Find something your child gets passionate about and feed that hobby. It’ll help with confidence and self-esteem, two traits that will combat the self-doubt that comes with worries.

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