Anxiety is on the rise in our culture, both for adults and for our children. As educators and caregivers, we want to do everything we can to reduce anxiety and help our kids thrive, but often our actions do the opposite, especially when we struggle with anxiety ourselves.
Because we so badly want our kids to feel better, the message of adults when children are anxious is often some version of “we need to get rid of this anxiety.” Then the adult works to distract the child, or convince them that there’s nothing to be anxious about. How would it feel for you if your friends and family reacted to your worries that way?
Trying to get rid of a feeling never makes it go away! To help kids (and ourselves) feel more powerful and competent, we have to look directly at the anxiety, and listen to what it’s trying to say.