Director of Pastoral Care & Wellbeing

As we move to the tail end of the term and NAPLAN approaches for our Year 3 and 5 students, here are some great tips for helping your child with feelings of worry, stress and fear. 

Anxiety can be a normal part of a child’s life, in small amounts, and there are many factors that can cause your child to become anxious. For example: 

  • Digital and social media,  
  • A stressful life event (death of a loved one or cherished animal), or 
  • Hereditary factors may even contribute to anxiety.  

Anxiety affects around 1 in 14 children in Australia between the ages of 4-17 years. A child might exhibit difficulty with managing their feelings, worry, stress or fear. Michael Grose, leading parenting expert on anxiety in children, shares that “the best map that we can have for anxiety is our body.”  

Five ways to soothe your child’s anxiety:

Checking in – Check in. It’s that simple. Talk to your child and ask them how they are going or feeling. Making time to listen to how they’re feeling and providing validation and reassurance. You do not have to fix all their problems. Many times, just listening and having empathy are what is needed. Tell your child that they are brave and capable, and can take steps to face fears or deal with issues.  

Movement – Movement is an awesome tool, not only to distract the mind about how you are feeling, but for physical and mental health. Getting the blood pumping is a great natural endorphin, and will help your child with self-regulating their anxiety.  

Deep breathing – Big belly breaths, is powerful. Inhale through the nose, exhale through the mouth. This is a simple, quick, yet effective tool to use, to bring your heart rate down. Focusing on your breath is not only a distraction, but creates a sense of calm. There are some great simple deep breathing techniques such as Lazy 8 breathing and five finger breathing.  

Enjoy green time – Ditch the screen for some green! There are so many benefits to spending time outside. It can improve your mood, make you feel less stressed, and boost physical activity.  

Mindfulness – Mindfulness is a powerful tool because it is about shutting down the mind and the mental clutter. It is a resourceful tool to use as a distraction from an anxious overactive mind. Going for a walk, drawing or colouring, or meditating together, it doesn’t have to be fancy. Utilise a meditation app, video or story, to guide you and your child on how to switch off and realign with themselves.  

Sourced from Life Ed Qld’s Anxiety and how to deal with it.  

Further Parent Tips 

Keep the small things small. Teach your CHILD to become a problem solver. Encourage them to: 

  • Identify the problem clearly 
  • Come up with their own possible solutions 
  • Think about a time when this has worked well/not so well 
  • Decide on the best solution or plan 
  • Put the plan into action
  • Review how the solution works