The 2 things I hear most from kids and teens about anxiety.

The 2 things I hear most from kids and teens about anxiety.

I’ve spoken all around the world about anxiety, and it doesn’t matter where I find myself, anxiety is there. That’s because anxiety is a human thing. It’s not a breakage thing, or a deficiency thing. It’s not a child thing, or a grown up thing. It’s not a ‘me’ thing or a ‘you’ thing, or an ‘us’ thing or a ‘them’ thing. It’s an ‘all of us’ thing, and our kids need to know this.

I often go into schools to speak to groups of kids or teens about anxiety. I’m always so warmed and overjoyed by their openness when they realise it’s safe for them to speak or ask questions.

This is what happens when we make anxiety safe. When we turn a conversation about anxiety into a conversation about courage, when we normalise anxiety and speak to the human-ness of it, we strip away any shame story or deficiency story and we make it easy for young people to show up, to be brave, to grow and stretch themselves at their edges. We strengthen them. 

The two things I hear most from kids and teens about anxiety.

When I speak to kids or teens about anxiety, there are two things I hear almost every time.

The first is, ‘I thought it was just me.’ Anxiety can be so isolating. This in itself will drive more anxiety about the anxiety, and fuel the deficiency story that can often come with anxiety.

If only every young person could know that anxiety is one of the most human of the human experiences. And it happens to all of us. If only that could happen, they’d feel less alone in their symptoms, less broken because of them, and more comforted by the human-ness of them.

The second thing I hear is, ‘I didn’t know who to talk to.’ My response is, ‘Talk to an adult you trust, because I promise you, at some point in their lives – probably many points, maybe even today – they would have felt the way you do. If that adult isn’t sure what to say, that’s okay – we adults don’t always have the words we need to make sense of things – find another adult. We’re there. And we get it. Sometimes the hardest thing is knowing where to start. If this happens, try, ‘I’d like to talk to you but I don’t know what to say,’ – and let the adult help you find the words that come next.’

We’re all in this. Let them feel the human-ness of their symptoms, so they don’t feel the isolation of them. ‘Anxiety can be tough can’t it. I get it. I’ve felt that way too before. I want you to know it’s a sign that you’re doing something hard – not that you can’t do hard things. How can I help?

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Honestly isn’t this the way it is for all of us though?♥️

#childanxiety #parenting #separationanxiety
Big feelings can be so beautiful. And so tricky. 

We want our kids to know that all feelings are okay, and we also want to support them to handle those feelings in positive ways. This is going to take time. We were all born with feelings, but none of us were born able to regulate those feelings. That will come with time and lots (lots!) of experience. 

In the meantime, the way we respond to their big feelings and the not-so-adorable behaviour it can drive, can be key in nurturing their social and emotional growth. So let’s talk about how.

Proactive Parents is a community event hosted by @mindfullaus . I’ll be providing parents, caregivers and educators with the skills and tools to better understand big feelings and the behaviour it fuels.

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We have to change the way we think about school. When we prioritise academics, it's like building the walls - because that's what we see - before fortifying the foundations.

So many teachers know this, but with the increased focus on reporting and academics, they aren't being given the time and opportunity to build the relationships that will ensure those foundations are strong and steady.

This is why too many kids are falling down at school - not because they aren't capable, but because the necessary foundations for them to do well haven't been laid.

Schools are spending the resources anyway, but reactively on behaviour management, disengagement, reduced capacity to learn.

If we can steer those resources towards building relational safety, so kids feel more seen, valued, cared for, rather than less capable or clever, we'll see a decrease increased academic success, greater engagement, less social struggles, and less behaviour issues. It's just how it is.

First though, we need to value relationships and the way kids feel at school, even more than how they do at school. All kids are capable of their own versions of greatness, but unless they feel safe and cared for at school, we just won't see what they are capable of, and neither will they.❤️
We also need to make sure our teachers feel seen, safe, cared for, valued. Our kids can’t be the best they can be without them.♥️
Separation can be tough! Not just for our kiddos but also for the adults who love them. 

As brutal as separation anxiety can feel, it also comes with transformative opportunities to strengthen your child and build their brave in ways that will serve them now and for the rest of their lives. 

Of course we’d rather our young ones (or ourselves) never feel the tailwhip of separation anxiety, but so many young people are going to experience anxiety at separation from a loved one. It’s part of being human, but it doesn’t have to hurt. 

As their important adult, you have a profound capacity to support them through separation anxiety and help them feel braver, stronger, and closer to you, even when you’re not beside them. Let’s talk about how.

This is information I wish every parent could have.

We want our children to feel loved and supported, but we also want to build their brave so anxiety doesn’t stand in the way of the important, growthful things they need to do.

In this 1.5 hour webinar, I’ll be presenting practical, powerful ways to build bravery when separation feels tough - at school, at bedtime, at drop-off - any time being away from you feels tough.

A recording of the webinar will be available to all registered participants for 30 days following the ‘live’ online event.

To register or find out more, google ‘hey sigmund webinar separation anxiety’ or see here ♥️

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