In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the parenting strategies that would help your kids against anxiety.
What does it mean to be anxious?
It means to be worried, or have fears. Fear, meaning a strong emotion caused by actual or perceived danger. Anxiousness can be characterized by extreme uneasiness of mind, usually about some uncertain events. The thing here is, fear can cause one to be anxious and anxiety can also cause fear.
It is good to help your child out of anxiety, but overprotecting can make it worst.for most kids leaving them to suffer it is actually bad because anxiety in children is one the mental health challenges of our time.
“One in five children will experience some level of anxiety when they reach adolescence,” says Danny Pine, top anxiety researcher, and psychiatrist at the National Institute of Mental health.
Danny is one of the prominent top anxiety researchers. He adds that for most kids, these feelings of worry won’t last, but for some, they will.
If you don’t help your kids out of anxiety, it would grow worst and affect them psychologically. When anxiety becomes a psychological problem, it becomes tough to tackle.
Having explained anxiety (what it means to be anxious), and stating that it has a negative effect on the mental health of children in the long run.
I believe no one wants to see his or her child unhappy or harboring fear, so I’ll be giving out some parenting tips on how to help cope and escape the cycle of anxiety.
- Don’t try to eliminate anxiety; help the child to manage it
One of my favorite success quotes says “Success doesn’t just happen; you have to set it in motion.” Anxiety cannot be eradicated immediately, just like magic, but it can be improved upon with proper steps towards management, daily.
The goal here should not be trying to remove what actually triggers the anxiety but to help them to bear/tolerate their anxiety even when they are anxious. When you do this, it will make them more mature to handle things even if you’re not available, causing a reduction in their anxiety (level).
- Don’t avoid things just because they make a child anxious
In a bid to reduce your child’s anxiety, do not avoid things just because they make your child a little less anxious. By this act, a child may feel relieved for a while, but this tends to reinforce anxiety.
For example, if you have a scary mask, help your child understand its purpose – a mask is used to scare people. You might as well let him hold onto it, to feel. Don’t just keep it away from his reach.
Similarly, for children with a phobia of mathematics, you have to help them understand that in failing, they get more knowledge because they are able to realize the error and correct it. Do not just paste the right answer at them, or shove them aside. The latter would hurt more, but neither would help their future.
Something to note: Try to make your child understand why certain actions are being taken, and help him see the benefit in it. Don’t just avoid things that make him anxious.
- Express Positive-but realistic-expectations
Be careful with your promises. Don’t ever promise a child that her fears would never materialize, just like telling her, “You can never fail this exam!” Or that people won’t mock him when he performs below expectations during a football match.
Instead, as a parent coach, you have to express a positive reaction and confidence that all will be well. Be a good motivator and you’ll see your child overcoming anxiety.
When you do this, he will believe you more than telling him “failing the test is impossible.”
- Get back to basics
When your child is anxious, you don’t have to stress him with things like attending parties, playing sports. All he needs is to focus and do things needed for his mental health such as;
- Drinking plenty of water
- Healthy meals
- Daily exercise
- Respect their feelings, but don’t empower them
Inside every child is panic, and how you handle a situation with your child (or ward) would determine if you understand and respect her feelings. It also makes a claim that you know leaving her to act as she likes, empowers her.
For example, if she is terrified about going to see a doctor for one reason or the other. All you have to do is encourage her, not amplify or belittle her fears. She is human too, and we all have moments in our life where we need an extra push or words of encouragement.
Anytime you see a panicking child, always help to relax. And when you see your kids passing through such trauma, be the encouragement they need. The reality still remains that you can’t achieve anything with them if you don’t help them feel better (by relaxing).
- Don’t ask Leading questions
To help a child struggling with anxiety, avoid leading questions. These are questions that require answers that the questioner desires.
Examples of leading questions are…
Where are you?
Were you in Florida last week?
Are you anxious about the upcoming professional exams?
Are you still worried about the break-up?
When you keep on asking such leading questions, you tend to feed the child with more anxiety. Instead of asking such leading questions, make use of open-ended questions. This helps you hear directly how they are feeling, instead of imposing one on them subconsciously.
“How are you feeling about the upcoming professional exams?”
- Don’t reinforce the child’s fear.
What you want is to eliminate fear, not reinforce it. Therefore, you should not reinforce it using body language or tone of voice.
(This is more like the point made in 6, if you do not mind, combine both)
If your daughter frets at the sight of dogs or has had a bad experience with dogs (and hasn’t gotten over the incidence), you should mind the kind of statements you want to make around her.
Using soft and encouraging words might be all that she needs to analyze, understand and overcome. You’d be stunned by her reaction next time she’s around a dog.
Also, you don’t want to confirm her fears by painting it as one. Remember to involve what I told you in point 3 – be positive, but realistic. Do away with sentences that do not follow this pattern. Here’s one: “Maybe this is something that you should be afraid of.”
- Encourage the child to tolerate her anxiety
One of the best counseling tips is to make your client feel better before starting the real counseling. Attacking (or blaming) your child will, and can make her anxiety turn to depression. When you encourage your child, always make her feel special (because she is special) and let her know that you appreciate all that she does.
Make her know that anxiety always takes its natural curves (or cause.). This would create in her an enabling mental environment for tolerating her anxiety. I bet you’ll begin to notice a change in her.
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- Try to keep the anticipatory period short
The rule of thumb here is to reduce or eliminate the anticipatory period. If your child is sick and asked to undergo an operation. Yes!! Your child might be so anxious about going there, it is very good to keep the anticipatory period short. If you launch into the discussion quickly, it may generate more fears, you can postpone the discussion, let’s say for 2hrs don’t try to allow it to get to days.
- Think things through with the child.
What if the fear comes again?
What if you’re not there?
What if. . .how would she handle it?
In the process of helping your child manage her anxieties, as my first point emphasizes, there are many possibilities you can look out for and try to proffer solutions to.
Take your time to think things through with her; walking her through the steps already explained and helping her build her confidence. You are building a strong and resilient child.
When you develop a plan, it can reduce the certainty of anxiety in a healthy and effective way. Your child can develop fear always, but with a well-thought-out plan resisting becomes easier, even when you are not there.
- Show them a better way of handling anxiety (when you experience one)
Remember what I said in point 7 – about reinforcing anxiety with your body language? It sheds more light to the fact that your body language is important.
Kids have this strong power of perception and adoption; that is why they can easily learn from your non-verbal cues. Hence, you must be careful what you do or say in their presence.
How you handle anxiety can affect how your kids handle anxiety. If you are the type who is usually unstable; you grumble, or you’re always seen complaining on the phone about your inability to handle stress. It won’t give them a strong sense of desire to overcome anxiety even when you carry out all the necessary “tactics.”
Conversely, when your kids see you managing anxiety calmly or feeling good getting over it, they would copy and adopt what you did to handle it, even when you are far from them.
They may even tell their friends things like: “My dad’s a great man!” “I love how my mum still helps me out even when she had a bad day.” “My parents seem to have a way of handling anxiety, and I love it cos it works like magic.”
- Build them into coping kids
Coping kids are strong kids. I believe the best gift you can give to a child with a tendency for anxiety is a set of coping skills.
There are several coping skills to teach your kids whenever they are anxious. You can write it on a “post-it” paper and give it to them paste it anywhere they want (that it would be visible) so they can do it whenever they feel threatened by their fears. Some of these actionable coping skills are:
- Identify and Write it out
- Take deep breaths
- Reframe your thoughts
- Relax your muscles gradually
- Get help from an adult.
How to Deal with a Drop in Your Teen’s Grades
Dealing with a drop in your Teen’s grade is usually one of the challenges faced by parents. When there is a poor grade, complaining and worrying are bound to occur at a certain point as a parent. Poor performance in school is usually caused by several factors; some may be caused by the parents. A drop in grade is usually a predicament faced by many teens during high school.
Notwithstanding, it is very paramount to decipher these three things,
• The cause of the Low grades
• Why the low grades and
• How to tal
Here I’ll be sharing the steps to take when your college kid’s grades are slipping.
WAYS TO DEAL WITH A DROP IN YOUR TEEN’S GRADES
The first step to take is trying to visualize what might prompt the kid’s failure. Relocating to another apartment may make you change your teen’s school. A change in school might result in drop in grades. This is usually because the new school may have more brilliant students than the old school. Other causes of a drop in grade might be inadequate sleep, busy social life, too many house chores, spending so much time in school activities, etc. All of these could result in laziness, a lack of motivation, or distraction.
If the drop in grade is so sudden then quick action must be taken. It’s very important to analyze your child’s grades from time to time to see if there is a spontaneous or a slow drop in grade.
2.TRY TO FIND OUT THE ACTUAL CAUSE
Several years ago, I was working as Home Tutor. While I was doing my work, I encountered John who used to be a great mathematician in Primary school. When he entered high school, I noticed he started failing mathematics woefully. The painful part is that the parents of the boy never had the time to have one-on-one communication with him.
As a counselor, I spoke with him and he opened to me that all he wishes for, is to change school and I asked why? After much persuasion, I discovered that the hatred he had for his teacher in mathematic never allowed him to put his best in school.
Getting to know what’s actually wrong with the kid might be quite difficult because the child may seem perfect in everything that he does. He might be a person who doesn’t like asking questions in class.
It could take you a while to get the right answers. The best is to find a quiet time with the child and speak with him.
ALSO, READ The Dangers of Overscheduling Your Child
3.SPEAK TO THE SCHOOL
A fluctuation in the kid’s grade should not make you be a regular visitor to the school authority. A fluctuation may occur because there were so many people in competition at that particular time. The child’s grade may drop from Grade A to B. if the grades are sustained over a long time, then you’ll need to visit the teacher rather gun blazing or apportioning blames…
One good thing about teachers is that they are able to provide valuable insight of everything that is happening at school as regards the child. Talking to the teacher may provide a valuable solution.
4. GET A HOME TUTOR
Getting a home tutor is very important in a child’s academics. Many parents usually deploy this approach whether their child is performing very well or not, they see it as a necessity.
Get one if you feel you’re too busy, to give your kids academic attention, it would help a long way.
5.When there is an underlying issue
Other underlying issues may be bullying from other kids, emotional upset, depression, or anxiety. all of these are usually very difficult to communicate with parents and even teachers too.
A child that is diagnosed with ADHD (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) may not perform very well in class. If after complaining to the school and you see no result, then visiting the doctor or a psychologist would be the best option.
6. MOTIVATE THEM DAILY
You might actually say, “is daily motivation really necessary? Yes, it is. Motivation is one of the Skeleton keys to Unlock good grades. it’s very annoying to see your child having this lackadaisical attitude towards their education, without any thought of the future. Motivating them is the best thing you can actually give in as parents, if you really care for your kids.
You can strategically give them these right tips on how to get back on their feet.
• Always give them the reasons to work hard.
A child’s good future is a better reward for parents. This is what they will always be thankful for. It is only left for you to make it or mar it. Make them see the reason to work hard to produce better results, not only in their academics but in other aspects of their lives.
• Make sure to tell them that hard work pays and it’s only the strong that will scale through.
• Always encourage them to do better in their study. If you can be there for them, do it diligently.
• Don’t ever be harsh on them. In this case, use good words and speak in a calm manner. Being harsh will only add more pain to your child, and they might see that all you care about is their performance and not their own happiness.
• Tell them to report to you whatever difficulties, they are facing in their school. This will give them room to open up to you and ask questions, they couldn’t ask their teachers. You need to be available for them too or create time for this.
• Encourage them to enter any educational competition or club. This will help them see other kids like them, doing what they are doing. It creates room for good achievements and good performance.
• Create family learning time. This is not actually easy to do, but it helps in motivating kids. When they see you reading, they will love to read too. It brings the family together and makes kids feel free to ask anything they don’t understand.
• Give them a puzzle to solve. There are a lot of puzzles you can give your kids like kids Sudoku 9*9, kids word search puzzle, kid hangman game, mosaics, pictures crossword game, shape puzzle, dot-to-dot puzzle, and many more.
These are the easiest ways to help kids master a lot of things within and outside their field. And this helps to improve their grades in school.
Reward here is promising them that “ if you come out the first position, or you get a good average point, I will do _______ for you”. Over 60% would do their best if they have been promised by the guardians. Always fulfill your promise and take them to somewhere that can add more value to them.
Besides, you don’t need to wait for them to come out well before rewarding them, you can do it occasionally just to say thank you for their support and obedience towards learning and life.
8. LEARN TO VALUE MISTAKES
Being angry that your child failed should not make you grow annoyed excessively. You should know that failure always a road to success. No man succeeds without experiencing any form of failure.
Don’t go overboard, shouting or smacking them for the drop in their grades rather find ways to make them accept responsibility to do well.
A WORD FROM RELATIONSHIPS SEEDS
A drop in grades is actually not something we should panic about, but something that needs our time to figure out what is actually the ‘cause’. Kids react to everything that happens within and outside their environment. That’s why they are kids.
Mental health professionals believe that when a child is emotionally down or meltdown, there must be something that triggers this reaction. Kids need time, care, love, attention, patience, and more for you to understand them.
You need to do your own part and so the teachers too. Always communicate with them and do the best for them.
ALSO, READ How To Tell If Your Teenager Is Having Sex
When do Babies Start to Walk?
When do babies start to walk? is a frequently asked question by most new parents around the world. Most times when we come across a baby crawling and cruising we tend to wonder when he/she will take the first step?
A child’s first year is full of events but the most anticipated one might be walking. Hence the question, “When will my baby start to walk.?”
When Should Babies Start to Walk?
Research has shown that babies usually take their first step between the 9th and 16th month. Not all babies start walking in the 9th month. Your first child might have walked when he was 10-months and probably you’re scared that the second is in its 13th month, but still crawling. The truth here is that every child reaches its milestone at a different time. There are several factors that may make a baby walk early or not. Of all, for your baby to start walking he/she must have contracted enough muscles.
The stages of walking
An old adage says, “for you to stand you must sit, for you to walk you must stand, and for you to run you must start walking.” This shows that life itself is in different stages. For a baby to start walking, he must have gone through and mastered other developmental milestones. These include:
For a baby to start walking, he must learn how to sit properly. Within the periods of the 6th month, your baby should start hacking the puzzle to sit upright, using the muscle in his trunk.
Around this time, the 6th month, you can start teaching your child how to sit. When trying to teach the baby how to sit, ensure you’re close enough to prevent falling.
Pulling to Stand
Pulling to stand varies among toddlers still; some may start this around the 10th month. The leg actually needs lots of energy for a pull to stand to occur because 70% of our body mass is fixed on the hip, so the legs need lots of energy to lift the torso.
This is when the child starts playing around the house with any furniture he/she sees. The time varies too for kids.
Holding your baby’s hands while walking would help to improve the coordination and balancing of the child. It also adds fun to the walking process. when your child starts holding your hand for him to walk, just know that he would start walking alone soon.
This is the final stage of completing the puzzle on how to walk. Usually, it starts with trying to move one leg forward and balancing the other leg. Here, the child may be falling too while trying to walk, but it’s all part of the process.
Why Do Babies Walk at Different Times?
One thing you should know is that babies also have emotions too. Some babies usually have this I can do it attitude; to them, the act of walking is a risk they are taking, and have to overcome. You can even perceive it, ranging from the way they interact with you, even as small as they are.
They don’t care if they fall. That’s why you’ll see some children fall as many times as possible when trying to walk. The beautiful part is that they see walking as one of the several fun things they do.
Not all babies have this type of personality, some also have the mentality of wait and see, an unintentional delay caused by fear of trying. These types are usually very cautious. This factor may be the reason why your child is delaying to walk.
Aside from this, there are other things too, which can affect the time it takes for babies to start walking.
• Birth Order:
Research has shown that babies tend to walk faster when they have older siblings around. So they may want to imitate what he/she is doing. It may be very difficult for your first child to start walking at 12months, but if you have other children let’s say from age 3-7, you’ll see your child become smarter. That’s why you see most children become smarter when they have older ones around to play with. That’s why it’s very important (and highly advised) for your child, even in the 8th month, to start school.
The bigger the size, the more difficult for the baby walking. This is because the baby would need to expend more energy to stand upright compared to one with a small stature.
Even when you look at fat people, you’ll notice that they may experience difficulty in walking or running at old age.
• Recurrent Ear Infections: If a child emerges in the 16th month and he’s not walking, then an investigation must be done concerning his health. Perhaps if he has experienced any ear infection. “An ear infection can throw off a baby’s balance and delay walking,” says Dr. Jensen.
A word from Relationshipseeds
Lack of nutrients may also bring delay in the walking puzzle of a child. When a child lacks calcium, it causes an almost permanent impedance to walk-ability. If you notice that after 17 months, you see no visible changes, then you should seek professional help. Meet a pediatrician, a child doctor.
How To Tell If Your Teenager Is Having Sex
When puberty shows up, teenagers often make so many wrong choices. Teenage age is a very sensitive period where teens want to explore, try new things, and all that. We are living in a world of technology where you can easily get access to anything you want online. Whether it is boyfriend, phone sex, porn clips, illicit materials, and so on.
These days Teens are so smart that they can keep a secret from you without you having a clue. Here, we’ll be looking at the signs that show your child is sexually active.
SIGNS YOUR TEENAGER IS HAVING SEX
1. Ask Your Teenager
One may say why would I ask? When you keep on shying away from asking questions like that things may not end well. when you finally decide to ask her that question, choose your words carefully, if you do it a threatening way, you may not get the answers you are seeking, instead, they will tell you lies out of fear.
This approach is a 50:50 because Teens love being secretive, if you’ve never had a deep conversation or you’re not very close with your child you can never get a YES ANSWER.
2. Provocative Dressing
Like I said in the beginning, the teenage age is an exploring age. When you see that your child starts dressing provocatively, it could mean that they’ve already eaten the forbidden fruit. Apart from the girls dressing seductively, the guys may also dress exposing their chests or buying a pink lips balm.
The adolescence stage is when teens become conscious of their appearance and body image. When the girls start having s*x, it usually gives them a heightened sense of maturity, this would make them pay more attention to whatever they wear.
3. More Secretive
When you notice that your child becomes more secretive than ever, it could be a sign that they are started having sex already. You’ll notice they hide their phone whenever they are operating it, use passworded phones; they also use coded language while chatting.
Being secretive is always associated with suspicious movements, such as coming home late, become overprotective about their privacy, because they don’t want you to find out. Even when they want to go out they always find it difficult to tell you where they are going. They will never make a phone call in your presence except it’s a family member that’s calling.
4. Check for Signs of Sexual Activity
Seeing condoms or contraceptives is a sign of sexual activity. It could mean that they are planning to have it or might have done it already. When you notice it, you don’t need to start boil, all you need is a conversation with your child to know what’s up.
When you see these tools in your child’s possession, it means that they are well equipped with the knowledge on how to avoid unwanted pregnancies or prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). So you have to educate them more about unwanted pregnancy, STI, and how having sex can destroy their dreams and career.
5. Behavioral Change
When a child starts doing something evil, you’ll notice that they either become more extroverted or introverted depending on their type of personality. Sometimes, they may become more stubborn. For instance, imagine your child of 18 having an affair with someone who’s 40years of age. The child might start disrespecting you and your partner.
Also, the child may become happier than before. Always try to notice and find out the reason(s) for their new behavior.
6. Keeping Tabs On You
They become too conscious of you. If they want to know where you are going and how many hours you will be spending. Similarly, they will want to know the number of days you are going to spend.
Occasionally, when you come too early, they’d become angry or anxious because they need more time to carry out what they want.
7. Poor Grades In School
The reason why it is not good for teens to engage in sexual activities is that they are not mature enough to handle what relationship or sex is all about. Sex and relationship can take your whole emotions and can drain you mentally.
I remembered when I fell in love during my 11th grade in high school. I can boldly confess that whenever I’m reading my books, I always see the picture of the girl I’m falling for. It took me 6weeks to get over her. When I was in love with her I could barely focus very well on my academics. Also, I’m very sure that I would have failed woefully in high school if I had dated her.
When a teen starts dating at a very young age, it will be very difficult to balance emotions and priorities properly. There are lots of distractions when your child starts premarital sex.
8. Being Involved In Their Life Regularly
The key to being involved in their life is communication. As a parent, there should not be a communication gap. Make your kids open up to you. Some kids might be very difficult or have hardened hearts, but you have to try your best.
Always make them know that you are available for them if any issue arises. With this, if they are facing sort of sexual humiliation they will be able to tell you faster than when you are far away from them.
9. Know Their Friends And Partner
An African adage says “show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are”. If you do well as a parent to know the character of your child’s friend you’ll be able to know the capability of your child. For example, if the friends of your child are all womanizer or involve in illicit sex, it a sign that your child could be sexually active.
What other signs do you think can point out a sexually active child?
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