In my 20 year career as a stay at home mom, I’ve tried some anxiety busters for kids taking tests, or trying out for different sports, or perhaps the school play try-outs, which have always caused lots of anxiety. Some of these anxiety busters have been a success for our family, and some…not so much. However, I do have my favorite anxiety busters for kids, which I feel were successful for my family at least most of the time.
Break Large Tasks Down
When my girls had big school projects due, like a science fair project, or a long researched report which included a diorama, I could always count on the anxiety levels rising. However, one effective coping tool I found was to group various parts of the preparation for the project into sections, then assigning days and times to them. This was written down on a chart the kids could reference, which planned out those activities in the days leading up to the projects due date.
Rehearse and Practice
My oldest daughter once took a speech class which regularly paralyzed her thoughts and actions.
She was able to overcome a lot of this when, after doing some research, I was able to suggest daily rehearsing and practicing of random readings, or other written assignments that were expected to be the topics of her speeches during class time. These sessions became fun for our family as she would frequently stand before a few of us who were home at the time, and become more comfortable with speaking in front of an audience.
As an anxiety sufferer myself, I was right on task when I first was able to identify my daughter’s anxiety issues. She seemed to be twitching and over blinking when I first observed the
beginning of her problem. This was due to the anxiety she felt about her 3rd grade teacher. My favorite thing to soothe my own anxiety is to breathe deeply from my diaphragm. This was and still is immensely helpful in calming me down and slowing my heart rate when it begins to rise. As things turned out, the same was true for my daughter regarding this situation and some others as well.
Taking a Break
When your child is studying hard for a test, or working hard on a homework assignment which they find challenging, it’s paramount to direct them to take a break. Often times, my kids would want to finish the assignment, or keep going even when I could clearly see they needed some time away from the task. During those times, I would step in to get them outside for some fresh air and activity, or have them take the dog for a walk. Sometimes, just playing with our family pets would be all it took to create calmness. They would also listen to some of their favorite music during their down time to keep anxiety from taking too strong of a hold.
Sources: Personal Experience