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How to Avoid Passing Anxiety on to Your Kids

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https://childmind.org/article/how-to-avoid-passing-anxiety-on-to-your-kids/

childmind.org

How to Avoid Passing Anxiety on to Your Kids
Witnessing a parent in a state of anxiety can be more than just momentarily unsettling for children. Kids look to their parents for information about how to interpret ambiguous situations; if a parent seems consistently anxious and fearful, the child will determine that a variety of scenarios are unsafe.

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Taking cues from you

When children witness a parent in a state of anxiety, they can become unsettled, because they take information about how to interpret situations from the parent.

If you notice your child sho...

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Learn stress management techniques

A big part of treatment for children with anxiety is to teach parents stress tolerance.

A mental health professional can help you work through methods of stress management for your specific ...

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Model stress tolerance

You might learn strategies in therapy that you can impart to your child when she is feeling anxious.

Try to maintain a calm, neutral demeanor in front of your child, even if you are still tr...

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Explain your anxiety

It's okay not to suppress your emotions constantly. Your children need to see how you cope with stress every now and then. Explain to your children why you behaved the way you did.

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Make a plan

Come up with ways to manage specific situations that trigger your stress. You may even speak to your child about it, but don't put the responsibility on your child to manage your anxiety. However, ...

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Know when to disengage

If you know that a situation might cause you to stress, plan ahead to disengage from that situation so your children will not interpret it as unsafe.

If you feel you are becoming overwhelmed...

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Capitalize On Naptime

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Separate Roles

If you don't learn to keep your roles as parent and businesswoman/businessman separate, giving each your full concentration for a set amount of time, you'll never feel like you're doing either well.
To separate mentally from the rest of the house, set up an office area.

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A Child's Mental Health

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Smartphones and Social Media

Across age groups, social media is potentially hazardous, with its tendency to amplify the social divide.

There is a strong relationship between anxiety/depression and the use of smartphones, particularly social media usage among kids, though the data also seem to show the positive effects of staying connected with their peers. Online distractions also make youngsters give up their offline life, leading to isolation and further depression.

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Self-isolation and parenting

Parenting while practicing self-isolation is not about doing everything a hundred percent all the time. It's about doing as much as you possibly can.

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It's really, really hard

It's hard to work from home and parent. Working from home full time during regular workday hours, care for your children, and sprinkle in a mix of homeschooling, is essentially asking parents to do multiple full-time jobs simultaneously.

  • Many parents relax screen time rules for now.
  • Get on a schedule if you find it helpful, or refuse to feel guilty for lack of a schedule.
  • Set up many FaceTime and Zoom dates with your friends and your kid's friends, and grandparents.
  • Understanding the situation of working-from-home-parents will go a long way by not holding their diminished productivity against them.
  • If you're a manager, there's no harm in announcing at the beginning of your conference call that it's OK if there are little voices from time to time.

Explaining the unsure future to children.

  • It is best to be honest when you have to talk about when a child will be going back to school or reschedule their birthday party when you don't know yourself.
  • You can say that some scientists think it would be a few months, but you don't really know yet. Then ask them how they feel about that and if they have questions. See what information you can find together.

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