Support and Advice for Parents
Anxiety is becoming more and more common in youths, which can prove to be challenging times for parents who often feel helpless.
It is important to remember that feeling anxious is a normal emotion that all youngsters experience. For most, anxiety doesn’t last. But for some, it doesn’t go away or may even become so intense that it interferes with day to day living even stopping them from doing everyday things.
So what can you do to help?
- Learn what anxiety is: Knowledge is power, so understanding why your child feels and reacts the way they are is essential. You can find out more about anxiety here: https://nopanic.org.uk/anxiety/
- Be Supportive: It is important to validate your child’s feelings. What they are going through is very real to them. Listen to what they are saying, even if you have never experienced anything similar yourself. If they find it hard to explain, get them to draw pictures or write them down.
- Set an example: Most youngsters learn from their elders. By looking after your own mental health you will be teaching them to take care of theirs. Check out our Wellness Tool-kit here: https://nopanic.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/NP-Wellness-Toolkit.pdf
- Help your child set and achieve goals: Through simple goal-setting and regular appraisal, youths can take learn to regain personal responsibility and control over situations. Find out more about how to set goals here: https://nopanic.org.uk/goal-setting/
- Talk: If you have lived with anxiety yourself, open up. Let them know that you feel anxious at times. Explain that anxiety is common and normal and by talking about it, solutions can be found to manage it.
- Relax: A relaxed body is the opposite of an anxious body. Here is an exercise that you could practice together. No Panic teaches how to relax your body here: https://nopanic.org.uk/body-scan-relaxation/
- Breathe Properly: Everyone tends to think that breathing comes naturally and that there can’t be a wrong way of doing it. Unfortunately, that’s not true. Take a look at our breathing animation here: https://nopanic.org.uk/correct-breathing/
- Make family time: Find time to have fun together. It may be playing games, going for a walk or even cooking. Spending relaxing, quality time with each other will help boost confidence and improve communication skills, as well as providing an opportunity to have fun.
- Journalling: Get them to start a diary. Writing down difficult moments, distressing feelings etc will make it easier for them to show you what they are up against. Keeping notes of anything that helps to overcome the challenging times. Jotting down anything positive; meeting up with friends, good days, TV programs/films that are uplifting, anything that makes him smile will be a great resource to refer back to when needed.
How can we help you both?
Our Youth Mentoring scheme is done on the telephone or online during a 6 week period. It teaches learning/coping skills, exposure to fears, goal setting and all the tools and life-skills needed to manage/overcome anxiety and panic.
You can telephone our Youth Helpline on 0330 606 1174 if you would like to chat to someone or why not take a look at the https://nopanic.org.uk/youth-hub/