Many of us can get confused about the nature of anxiety and especially, when to really worry about it.
Anxiety refers to feelings of worry, nervousness, or a sense of apprehension, typically about an upcoming event where the outcome is uncertain, or where a young person feels he or she might not be up to the task. Although the experience of anxiety will vary from person to person, feeling stressed, worried, and having anxious thoughts are common symptoms
When children have anxious thoughts or feelings, a common response from the adults in their lives is to step in and solve the problem. But, by helping children avoid scary situations, we’re reinforcing and fuelling their anxiety. They’re also missing out on opportunities to develop coping skills and prove to themselves they can deal with the anxious thought or feeling next time it comes up. The best thing we can do for a child is to help them learn how to cope with anxiety.
If you feel that your child become anxious and this is impacting on their wellbeing, we encourage you to have a look at the Brave Online Anxiety Program http://www.brave-online.com/
Brave is a FREE online program developed by the University of Queensland and it includes 10 sessions in which young people learn the skills to overcome fearful or worrying situations. The program is divided into three age groups for children 3-7 year olds, 8-12 year olds and 12-17 year old children
Each session is presented in an interesting and interactive way. The information and skills are learned through animations, quizzes, puzzles and interactive games that are designed to keep young people interested and engaged with the sessions.
The sessions are not just for young people. Parents have an important role to play in helping young people to overcome their fears and worries. There are five or six, 60-minute online sessions for parents to also work through that teach parents the strategies that children can use to help support their anxious feelings.
At Dominic College, we use a number of grounding techniques to support children when they are feeling overwhelmed, upset or anxious. Grounding helps to bring a person back to the here and now, to realise that they are safe and in control of their reality and emotions. It helps a person to refocus and find calmness and strength in the present moment when they are highly anxious and emotional.
Mrs Allison Lowe - Co-coordinator of Pastoral Care K-6