I am the kind of parent that is thrilled to see my children trying new things and taking chances to satisfy a curiosity or embark on an adventure that gives them a sense of accomplishment. It amazes me to see them doing things I was never brave enough to try.
But I don't expect it to be easy for them.
And because of their temperaments—it's often very hard.
This school year is a big game changer for my kids. Two of them have switched schools and my youngest is beginning kindergarten. That leaves my third in the same school, but facing the uncertainties of being on her own when she normally has her siblings close by.
For many children, including mine, change can mean anxiety. And sometimes it can be everyday events or situations that cause a child to worry or feel anxious.
I worried a lot as a child, too. And I'm able to share that with my children. They take a lot of comfort from knowing I went through something similar and also had worried feelings. And their dad is great with being honest and open about things that scared him, too.
But we also want our kids to learn how to face their anxieties and worries head on and to believe in their ability to get through those feelings by using their own coping skills.
So we talk things out. A lot.
We find people other than us (teachers, family, friends) that we think are able to relate, and we encourage them to talk it out.
I think we do a great job of helping our children feel that we understand. But we are offering an adult perspective of how things will get better and sometimes they need to know that other children feel the same way right now.
There are many resources available for families to use as tools to support their kids in dealing with worry and anxiety. I was recently introduced to a new book by certified school psychologist, Stacy Fiorile, called Scaredies Away! and welcomed the opportunity to have my children read it and ask questions.
My eight and 10 year old were able to imagine themselves in the story and were nodding their heads at some of the feelings described in the book—which is written for a target audience of six to 12 years old.
The story offers scenarios and concrete strategies that kids can use to face the worry and get through it. The Magic Finger Countdown teaches kids to put their scaredies into their fist and then let them go by counting backwards from five until their hand is open and they can blow their worries away.
I'm so glad to be able to give one of my readers a copy of this book. If your child struggles with worrying and anxiety, you will appreciate being able to share this book with them.
For further tips and strategies for helping your child, here are some great resources from Kids Health and Anxiety Disorders Association of Canada. If you have concerns about your child and anxiety, please speak to your health care provider.
This giveaway is open to Canadian and U.S. Residents only. Thank you and good luck!
The book Scaredies Away! is also available for purchase on Amazon.