Child Anxiety

Child anxiety, can present as refusal or reluctance to go to school which so easily arises from a child’s anxiety manifesting as extreme shyness or nervousness. They could have difficulty or fear interacting with their peers so develop a strong need to stay at home with family members. Their anguish may be expressed in the form of frequent temper tantrums, crying bouts, broken sleep and/or nightmares. Bedwetting is not unusual. The anxious child who does attend school may also have difficulty in concentrating and so their academic performance tends to drops off, neither is it unusual for children to present with physical complaints such as headaches, stomach-ache, muscle aches and general tiredness.

Tackling child anxiety successfully is of paramount importance for the sanity and well-being of both parent and child. We need to therefore consider a number of strategies.

Firstly, we need to question how effective we are as Primary carers/parents in creating a stable, predictable environment at home. What this means, is that we need to develop routines at home so our children know what is coming up next. The bedtime routine for instance, has the same format each evening i.e. the evening meal is followed by play time then having a wash/bath and leading to getting dressed into pyjamas prior to a cuddle and read before bed. Likewise there would be a set routine in the morning which might be getting dressed after getting up, eating breakfast and only playing with toys/watching TV when they are completely ready for school. These examples do sound quite ‘picture perfect’ especially when these two periods of the day are the very times that our children are likely to play up and become difficult to manage. So how might we manage this situation positively, how might we make it happen?

As parents we need to buy into the concept of being consistent and therefore being predictable. No matter how much our children play up, we need to resist giving in and consistently stick to the set of home rules that we have already put in place. These prominently placed home rules of which there should be no more than five, are placed somewhere visible (in picture form for younger children). House rule examples could be something like ‘Always use a quiet voice indoors’, ‘Always knock and wait, before entering someone’s bedroom’, ‘Always be polite to each other’, ‘Balls are for the outdoors only’.

We make our house rules to suit the smooth running of our own family unit, so they may vary from family to family. Needless to say, small rewards (other than food, sweets and money) need to be given to incentivise your children to keep to the rules, but do remember to keep the rewards varied and very affordable. As the new habits are established, start easing off the rewards replacing them with more praise. Children love positive attention and are therefore more likely to repeat the behaviour for which they are praised.

All these strategies require a lot of personal effort on the parent’s side but it is well worth the investment. By creating a safe positive home environment that is predictable and stable, your children will find home life comforting, nurturing and stabilising to the extent that a solid foundation of safety has been created at home. In this way our children are being equipped to deal with anything that life throws at them, outside the home. They have a home that is safe and predictable providing a safe secure haven in which they can flourish and recover from the day’s ills. Naturally when children feel valued, listened to and praised for when they do well and loved unconditionally, they will also learn there are sensible repercussions for when they misbehave. They therefore grow up with confidence, self-esteem as well as a sense of personal responsibility for any actions they take. Anxiety has little room in their lives when they grow up safely and securely with a ‘Can Do’ attitude.

Sometimes, despite putting these very effective measures in place, a few children may still present with some anxiety concerns. We now need to look at the fact that children learn by copying. They so easily copy the behaviour of those around them.  Be mindful of members in the family that are presenting with anxiety concerns, in which case it is important that the adult or family member is treated for their anxiety as indeed is the anxious child.

The preferred treatment, Bach flower therapy, which is a natural treatment, free of side effects, is totally safe for babies to take and does not interfere with any other medication, is highly effective yet gentle. There are thirty eight plant based Bach flower remedies (one for every possible emotion that needs balancing). Mimulus is likely to be the remedy of choice here to balance general known fears and anxiety. (However other emotions could be involved that require balancing. Advice can be given on request}.

Mimulus is taken over a 3 week period in drinks or directly to the mouth via a pipette as droplets. If the emotion has been longstanding then the remedy may need to be repeated two or three times with the understanding that the fears and anxiety will progressively diminish. For more information read Preparing your Bach Flower Remedies and Bach Flower Remedies

Bach flower remedies are one of nature’s greatest stress busters and I would strongly recommend these remedies find their way into everyone’s medicine cabinet. Each 30 ml stock bottle contains 80 drops and as only 2 drops are needed to take you through a 3 week treatment, each stock bottle is a very economical form of treatment. Despite ‘use by dates’ the stock bottles remain robust to the last drop for however long. Licensing laws require ‘use by dates’ so never throw out your stock bottles of Bach Flower remedies.

For advice on how to chunk down the above strategies into a meaningful do-able plan feel free to discuss how this can be done to ensure your child’s life chances to maximise life opportunities are put in place.

Getting Motivated to Achieve

Whatever the project we have in mind, it clearly has value for us to do it well. Whether it be improving techniques for a favoured sport, learning a language or learning how to cook, similar challenges lie ahead.

 

When we set about wanting to succeed in a project, we may feel on the one hand really excited but on the other, rather daunted. We may find ourselves lacking the commitment to make it a reality for ourselves. It is important to remember that every one of us has a range of inherent unique talents waiting to be developed into something quite special. So getting into a positive state of mind first, is the key to taking that initial step.

 

Begin, by focusing on your existing knowledge and experience. Reflect back on previous hobbies and achievements with the progress you made. What was your learning style? What motivated you initially? Do you perform better in groups or your own? Create the right environment for yourself to start achieving. Do you work better in the mornings or evenings? If music helps ensure it is playing in the background.

 

Fill your mind with images of you achieving your goal. How will you feel when you have achieved it? Who will be applauding your success with you?  Will you be holding a winner’s trophy or gaining a well earned certificate of achievement or perhaps a professional qualification? Will this award be presented and celebrated in a public place? Who will be celebrating with you? How will your celebration look?

Where will that goal take you? Will it be an opening for another career or become an exciting leisure activity once you have mastered it?. Will it make you lots of new friends and expand your social life? Will it improve your financial status providing you with more choices in your life? Will you become an authority on a specialist subject? How many people will benefit from your expertise? This form of positive imagery will help drive you to start your adventure with passion and commitment to remain motivated throughout the process.

 

Now recognize there are many steps or stages in the process of learning a new skill. Be patient and chunk it down. Pace yourself. It’s all about you learning a new skill and knowledge and less about comparing your progress with someone else. Acknowledge your progress as you go, recognizing how far you have come at each stage along the process. Celebrate this1

 

Now choose your role model. Watch what they do, study them, read about them, find out what drives them and as you learn and refine the techniques for your sport or activity you will begin to achieve your own level of excellence.

 

The more progress you make the more successful you will feel. The more successful you feel, the more excited you will get, the more excited you get, the more you will persevere when perseverance is ultimately needed to take you to the next level. Success breeds success, your confidence increases, your self image expands. You learn to develop your own inner radar in your chosen activity or field so that your own creativity blossoms and your ability to develop and create new elements to your chosen activity start coming into play,

The more time you commit the more accomplished you become and the greater you develop your intuition, your knowledge, your skills, your expertise. All these combine to create something quite spectacular.

We see in our top Footballers, our top Chefs and top Architects, a craft that is so amazingly beautiful it sometimes defies human belief, leaving us onlookers totally enraptured in the very creations we thought were beyond possibility.

 

 

There is an amazing joy in achieving but only if we dare to commit. By developing our own expertise we bring joyful enrichment to others who wish to replicate it and magnify this joy. Can you imagine how fantastic our planet would be if we all got motivated to make those small changes with phenomenal results.

 

If you need focus to stay on track and achieve, then take the Bach Flower Remedy ‘Vine’

To ensure you choose your correct career path, take ‘Wild Oat’ To correct a tendency to changing your mind several times a day, take ‘Scleranthus’. To be mindful and concentrate on the task, rather than day dream take ‘Clematis’. Take ‘Hornbeam’ to counter the feeling of being in a rut’.